This December, 500 young Ron Paul supporters will volunteer for the Texas congressman's presidential campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The program is called Christmas Vacation with Ron Paul, and through it, the youth activists will travel around the key early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire to drum up support and get out the vote for Paul, who is making his second bid for the Republican nomination.

I firmly believe the next generation needs us to fix our problems now, so there will be a great country left to give them, Paul wrote in a recent email to supporters. One of the highlights of these last few years has been seeing a new generation of liberty activists joining our fight.

Expensive Effort

Christmas Vacation with Ron Paul is an expensive effort, as the campaign will be providing food, housing and transportation for participants, so Paul is developing a dedicated fundraising drive to support it. His campaign estimates that it will cost $600,000 total, but only $45 per participant.

Although this program is very cost-effective, it still costs money, and that is something our campaign will need much, much more of in the coming weeks, Paul said in the email.

This latest effort is an extension of the grassroots strategy that has defined Paul's campaign from the start and earned him a remarkably loyal following. It is on this strategy that he is relying in his attempt to go from the Republican Party's black sheep to its nominee.

Your efforts could determine the outcome of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, a sign-up page on Paul's Web site tells prospective participants. In close elections, the campaign with the best on-the-ground effort and organization will succeed.

Paul is in fourth place in Iowa in the poll average, and in third place in New Hampshire, although some individual polls have placed him higher. He is averaging 13 percent support in both states, and 8 percent nationally. He is hoping that strong finishes in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3 and the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 10 will give him momentum going into the rest of the primary season.