The Ticket

Mitt Romney and Ron Paul top new Iowa poll, but Rick Santorum has momentum

Chris Moody, Yahoo News
The Ticket

DES MOINES, Iowa--The last Des Moines Register poll before Tuesday's Iowa caucuses shows Mitt Romney ahead of the Republican presidential field, with Ron Paul just 2 percentage points behind, within the poll's margin of error.

Here are the results:

Mitt Romney: 24 percent

Ron Paul: 22 percent

Rick Santorum: 15 percent

Newt Gingrich: 12 percent

Rick Perry: 11 percent

Michele Bachmann: 7 percent

The poll of 602 likely Republican caucusgoers was conducted over four days, from Dec. 27 to Dec. 30.

If the last two days of polling are considered by themselves, Santorum springs to second place, with 21 percent saying they would support him. Paul falls to 18 percent, with Romney remaining at 24 percent.

The full results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The margin of error for the last two days is plus or minus 5.6 percentage points.

In June, the poll showed Michele Bachmann tied with Romney for first place; in August, Herman Cain joined the former Massachusetts governor at the top;  Newt Gingrich led the pack in early December.

David Chalian, the Washington bureau chief for Yahoo News, noted on Twitter that 41 percent of the likely caucusgoers in the poll said they are still willing to change their minds.

The poll, conducted by Selzer & Co., is considered the most accurate in the state.

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