Although Ron Paul leads in some polls and Rick Santorum of all people has started to gain steam, CNN has Mitt Romney winning the Iowa caucuses. A win in Iowa could make Romney’s nomination appear inevitable, as he holds a 27 point lead over his nearest competitor in the New Hampshire primary.
The race in New Hampshire, meanwhile, appears to have settled. Gingrich’s boomlet has subsided in the Granite State as well with his support there falling 10 points to 16% in the last month. But rather than splintering, almost all of those voters have swung to Romney, who maintains a commanding lead there with 44% backing, up nine points over the same time period. The rest of the field has remained static. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who gained some traction in recent months, failed to catch fire, merely edging up one point to 9%. And even as Paul has moved to the front in Iowa, his New Hampshire support remains at 17%, second to Romney and now ahead of Gingrich, but still far off the lead.
The Iowa caucuses will take place this coming Tuesday, Jan. 3, while voters head to the polls in New Hampshire a week later on the 10th. Click here for the full primary schedule. —PZS