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Latest Poll: Iowa Nearly a 3-Way Tie

Candidates make last-minute preparations
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 2, 2012 7:06 AM CST
Updated Jan 2, 2012 7:52 AM CST

(Newser) – A day ahead of Iowa voting, three candidates are within two points of each other in the latest poll: Ron Paul is leading the field at 20%, while Mitt Romney follows at 19% and Rick Santorum boasts 18%, having jumped eight points since earlier this week, notes Public Policy Polling. That gives him the clear momentum; he's also got the highest favorability rating at 60%. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich trails at 14%, ahead of Rick Perry with 10%, Michele Bachmann with 8%, and Jon Huntsman with 4%.

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But the tight competition doesn't seem to have Ron Paul worried. He was at home in Texas this weekend while other candidates made last-minute efforts in Iowa. But "Paul’s bid remains at heart a movement, rather than a single-minded effort to capture the GOP nomination," writes James Hohmann at Politico, and finishing among the top three—which now seems almost certain, even without last-minute campaigning—spells success. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich says he's a victim of the new Swift-boating: He's been "Romney-boated" by independent attack ads backing Mitt. Newt has launched a new attack of his own, saying Romney "would buy the election if he could," USA Today reports. For more Iowa news, click to see why Romney thinks Obama is like a Kardashian. (Read more Election 2012 stories.)

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