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Edit: The Insider Advantage Poll just released has a minimal impact on the numbers. Romney 22.3%, Paul 21.9%, Santorum 17.2%, Gingrich 15.1%

A new Public Policy poll has Ron Paul at 20 percent, Mitt Romney at 19 percent, and Rick Santorum at 18 percent.

Santorum continues to make waves in Iowa, perhaps peaking as the latest ABR at what is seen by some conservatives as a critical time.

Here is a portion of PPP’s analysis: Read more

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On the strength of the Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, Mitt Romney has taken the lead in the Iowa Composite Poll.

If this vote turns out as the Composite has it today, Romney could not be in a better position to win the nomination. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich is facing the same fate as Rick Perry. Rick Santorum has momentum in Iowa, but no where else as he has focused his entire campaign there. It is very difficult to see how he has any path to the nomination without pulling out the win, with an enormous run of fundraising success to follow.

Second tier finishes by Perry and Bachmann should signal their time to exit the race. Huntsman should do the same after New Hampshire.

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The Iowa Composite Poll will be updated each day through Tuesday when Iowans cast the first votes of this cycle.

Rick Santorum has now moved into the third position in the Iowa Composite. However, even if he does come in third, then what?

Meanwhile the battle for first is a dead heat. As Jason said on Fox and Friends this morning, if Romney takes Iowa after virtually not competing there and focusing on New Hampshire, then wins the latter handily, the race might be over. On the other hand, if Ron Paul wins, it will be very curious to see how much momentum might shift the man who might be the most polarizing of the Republican candidates.

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Newt Gingrich’s rise and fall in Iowa has been far more pronounced than his national polling move. At one point he was at a high of 32.9% in the PD Composite: Iowa. Today he is clearly in third place at 16.6% and being threatened to be overcome by Rick Santorum.

Meanwhile, Ron Paul has consistently moved up in the Composite since early November and today is the leader, though Mitt Romney is only 3.1 points behind.

With less than a week to go until the Iowa caucuses, the story lines are: Can Paul actually win? After virtually ignoring the state, will a second place or higher finish by Mitt Romney springboard his campaign? Can Rick Santorum finish in the top three or even in second? How far will Gingrich ultimately drop and how will that effect his campaign?

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Iowa is a three way dead heat as the PD Composite shows current voter sentiment virtually identical for Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. The Romney and Paul climbs have coincided with Gingrich’s decline in Iowa and nationally.

However, all three leading candidates are seeing minor bumps over the past few days as the Ricks, Perry and Santorum, are both on the rise. The question for both of them is whether their final showing in Iowa will be strong enough to bother continuing their campaigns, especially in Santorum’s case.

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Today we introduce the PD Composite: Iowa. It will be a regular feature until the Iowa Caucus.

Following the national trend, Newt Gingrich also leads in Iowa. Ron Paul pulled ahead of Mitt Romney only today, based on the strength of his showing ahead of Romney (though within the margin of error) in two of the past three polls. Romney was strong in Iowa until the Herman Cain surge when he slowly started sinking, then as the Cain and Gingrich popularity lines crossed paths, Romney’s loss of support slowed, though continuing on.

Bachmann nearly doubles her national numbers in Iowa, but that still leaves her at only 9.8%. Perry is hanging around at 9.3% and the Rick Santorum/Jon Huntsman duo collect the crumbs, as usual.