Romney Paul Iowa

January 1, 2012 by staff 

Romney Paul IowaRomney Paul Iowa, Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are in a statistical dead heat in Iowa while momentum is building for Rick Santorum, according to the last poll before the Tuesday caucuses that formally kick off the 2012 campaign.. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich weeps while talking about his late mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder and depression.

The Des Moines Register poll published Saturday night found Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, with 24%; Paul, a U.S. representative from Texas, at 22%; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 12%; Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, with 11%; and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at 7%.

But support for Santorum is on the rise, with the former senator from Pennsylvania gaining significant ground in the last few days, the newspaper found. And, 41% of voters who said they planned to attend the state caucuses on Tuesday night also said they could still change their minds.

In the final two days on which the poll was taken, support for Santorum rose to 21%; Paul’s support fell to 18% and support for Romney stayed the same. The survey, conducted Tuesday through Friday, has a margin of error of four percentage points.

The race is “a moving target right now,” Kathie Obradovich, a columnist at the Register, said Sunday in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Santorum “is the only candidate who is surging upward right now,” while support for Paul “is turning down,” she added.

The Iowa contest won’t produce nominating convention delegates for any of the candidates, but the results will be psychological and fund-raising factors in the fight to determine the Republican challenger to President Barack Obama in the Nov. 6 election.

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