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Romney leads Paul in Iowa poll, Santorum surges

Monday, January 02, 2012 - 01:46

Jan. 1 - The closely watched Des Moines Register poll finds Mitt Romney leading the pack of Republican candidates while Rick Santorum hopes momentum is on his side. Katharine Jackson reports.

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Headlining the Des Moines Register newspaper on Sunday - their new poll finding Mitt Romney leading the field of Republican candidates for president before Iowa caucus-goers make their picks on Tuesday. The closely watched poll shows Romney with 24 percent support, a narrow lead over his rival Ron Paul's 22 percent. In third, a surging Rick Santorum beat out Newt Gingrich, who slipped to fourth. Rick Perry was fifth. Michele Bachmann, sixth. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY SAYING: "Some have me down by five, some have me up, who knows?" The results are a huge boost for the former Massachusetts Governor Romney - who resumes the front-runner role entering the final stretch in the first of the state-by-state battles for the Republican nomination to face President Barack Obama in the general election. The poll was more bad news for Gingrich, the former House Speaker, who had led the race until an onslaught of attack ads. Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation says it's make or break time. (SOUNDBITE) (English) STEVE CLEMONS OF THE NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION SAYING: "Iowa is a momentum place, It either starts or stops races." Edging out Gingrich, the socially conservative former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has momentum. He's hoping to sway Iowa's evangelical Christian voters to score an upset on Tuesday. Texas Congressman and Libertarian favorite Ron Paul, who spent the New Year's holiday in Texas, returns to Iowa on the eve of the caucus. A victory for Romney in Iowa followed by another win in New Hampshire on January 10 could pave the way for an early clinch on the nomination. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.

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Romney leads Paul in Iowa poll, Santorum surges

Monday, January 02, 2012 - 01:46