Iowans will begin casting the first ballots of the 2012 nominating season Tuesday evening when they gather to choose a Republican candidate. Rick Santorum has shown a last-minute bump from his previous low standing in the polls while Mitt Romney and Ron Paul appear to be battling for the top spot. The most notable aspect of the caucuses may be that over 40% of caucus-goers are undecided at this point meaning any candidate could mount a strong run.
Results: Des Moines Register
Report from Reuters:
With time running out, rivals of surging Republican Rick Santorum raised doubts about his conservative record on Monday in hopes of heading off a last-minute victory by the former senator a day before Iowa kicks off the 2012 presidential election season.
Santorum, a second-tier candidate until a jump in the polls last week, claimed the momentum as he and the other Republican candidates barnstormed across Iowa making final arguments and trying to bolster turnout ahead of Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and libertarian congressman Ron Paul are neck-and-neck in the lead in Iowa polls in the start of the fight to decide who will face Democratic President Barack Obama in next November’s election.
But Santorum, uniting voters on the Christian right who have been divided for months, could pull off a surprise. The top three or four finishers will likely have momentum, and maybe more money, to go into next week’s New Hampshire primary.
Santorum’s 11th-hour charge is just the latest twist in the Republican Party’s tortuous road to reclaim the White House – a race that has changed front-runners half a dozen times already. In a time of weak economic and job growth and bitter bipartisan fights in Washington, voters seem to be unsure of their choices.
We’ll have the results and a wrap-up Tuesday evening.