The Spectacle Blog

‘Momentum’s Name Is Rick Santorum’

By on 12.31.11 | 7:10PM

The last Des Moines Register poll before Tuesday's Iowa caucuses was just released. Conducted from Tuesday to Friday, Mitt Romney leads with 24 percent, followed by Ron Paul at 22 percent, and Rick Santorum at 15 percent. Newt Gingrich is at 12 percent, Rick Perry 11 percent, and Michele Bachmann at 7 percent.

Consider the last two days of polling separately, however, and it's Romney at 24 percent, Santorum at 21 percent, and Paul in third at 18 percent. "Momentum's name is Rick Santorum," said Register pollster J. Ann Selzer. That said, looking at only the last two days raises the margin of error from plus or minus 4 percent to plus or minus 5.6 percent. Fully 41 percent of likely caucus-goers say they could still be persuaded to change their minds.

The final Des Moines Register polls basically nailed the 2008 Democratic and Republican results in Iowa. The paper's pollsters have a good reputation. It's still a competitive race, as Romney and Paul have the best organizations while Santorum's poll surge will help him draw more votes from Bachmann and other social conservatives.

Happy New Year.

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