A new Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers has Mitt Romney in first place, followed by Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. But Santorum's popularity is surging. He's hoping to consolidate the state's evangelical vote, like Mike Huckabee did in 2008, and finish second or even first.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's poll numbers in Iowa continue to fall — in large part due to a barrage of negative ads over the last month attacking him. So after previously saying he'd only run a positive campaign, Gingrich is now hitting back.
Concluding that he can win the Iowa caucuses, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney spent the weekend campaigning in western Iowa, a mostly conservative region. After months of making only periodic visits to the state, Romney is making an aggressive final push through Iowa.
Unlike GOP presidential primary seasons of the past, the one that begins in Iowa Tuesday was actually designed to slow down the emergence of a winner by stretching out the calendar and altering the delegate allocation rules. It will take until March 24 to allocate a bare majority of the delegates.
As the hours tick away toward Tuesday evening's first important contest of the 2012 presidential election season, the frontrunners are looking to hold their positions and the rest are trying to survive to fight again next week In New Hampshire.
While the other GOP contenders focus on Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, the former Utah governor continues to concentrate on next week's New Hampshire primary. But he's going to have company in the Granite State very soon.
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