Republicans counting down to Iowa caucuses




Posted on January 2, 2012 at 3:23 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 2 at 2:20 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa — With the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday, the Republican candidates are in their final sprint.

The stage is set for a wild showdown. It's very clear right now that voters have not yet made up their minds.

A new year means there is not a moment to waste as the candidates enter the home stretch in Iowa. For Texas Gov. Rick Perry, that meant church in West Des Moines and national talk shows.

On Fox News Sunday, Perry defended the $3 million he spent in television ads for Iowa with little to show for it  in the polls.

"I think we got a good bit to show," Perry said. "As you know, we got in the race late, obviously, in August. Some of these folks have been running for years in Iowa and multiple times in Iowa."

It may not be enough.

A New Year's Eve poll by the Des Moines Register — said to be the most accurate prior to Tuesday's vote — shows Mitt Romney on top with 24 percent, but Perry is in fifth place with 11 percent.

Texas' other candidate, Ron Paul, takes the second spot in the new poll, but he didn't spend the weekend in Iowa. From his home in Clute, near Houston, Paul told CNN he's confident he will do well on Tuesday.

"I may come in first, I may come in second," Paul said. "I doubt I'll come in third or fourth. And the future of the campaign for liberty will always be ongoing, and I think we're doing to have a good showing."

The wild card right now is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Some say by Monday night he could be bumping Ron Paul from that number two position.