Iowa caucuses: On-the-ground coverage

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Stacy McCain arrived in Iowa early last week, wearing out tires and shoe leather in search of underreported stories. (His archive of coverage is tagged "Fear and Loathing in Iowa.") McCain anticipated the Santorum surge, which seems to be peaking at just the right moment for tomorrow night's straw poll.

A Stacy McCain question prompted one of the more interesting candidate answers in recent days, with Santorum calling out Ann Coulter, pointing out that the bill he opposed that included the eVerify system was the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill, which conservatives on immigration opposed.

Stacy McCain is also writing about Iowa for The American Spectator.

As always, RealClearPolitics has the latest poll numbers from Iowa. PPP has Paul at 20, Romney at 19, and Santorum with 18, but Santorum has the "Big Mo":

The momentum in the race is completely on Santorum's side. He's moved up 8 points since a PPP poll earlier in the week, while no one else has seen more than a one point gain in their support. Among voters who say they decided who to vote for in the last seven days he leads Romney 29-17 with Paul and Gingrich both at 13. Santorum's net favorability of 60/30 makes him easily the most popular candidate in the field. No one else's favorability exceeds 52%. He may also have more room to grow in the final 48 hours of the campaign than the other front runners: 14% of voters say he's their second choice to 11% for Romney and only 8% for Paul.

It's not hard to imagine Bachmann supporters shifting to Santorum as they see an opportunity to hand a victory to a fellow social and fiscal conservative. Gingrich and Perry supporters who are more anti-Romney and anti-Paul than pro-their-guy may switch to Santorum as well.

Caffeinated Thoughts has already been on the ground in Iowa. The Iowa-based blog has been covering the candidates and the activists involved in the Iowa caucuses from a local perspective:

Caffeinated Thoughts' Shane Vander Hart points out an interesting factoid from the Des Moines Register's final pre-caucuses poll, quoting this passage from the DMR report::

But the four-day results don't reflect just how quickly momentum is shifting in a race that has remained highly fluid for months. If the final two days of polling are considered separately, Santorum rises to second place, with 21 percent, pushing Paul to third, at 18 percent. Romney remains the same, at 24 percent.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 2, 2012 2:43 AM.

Iowa caucuses: How Ron Paul can "win" and lose in the same night was the previous entry in this blog.

Iowa caucuses: In defense of "arcane rules" is the next entry in this blog.

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