No Republican candidate is running away with the contest in Iowa two days before the caucuses start: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum are all within two points of each other in a new poll from Public Policy Polling (D). Paul leads with 20, Romney is at 19 and Santorum finishes with 18.
Santorum has doubled his support over the last two weeks as the candidates barrel to the finish line. “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,” PPP wrote in its analysis. “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.”
The previous frontrunner, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has fallen all the way to 14 percent, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry gets 10 percent to round out the candidates in double digits.
More from PPP:
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. Santorum's taken the lead with two key groups of Republican voters: with Tea Partiers he's at 23% to 18% for Gingrich, 16% for Paul, 15% for Bachmann, and only 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he's at 24% to 16% for Gingrich, and 15% for Paul and Romney.