The Washington Times - January 2, 2012, 02:39AM

Mitt Romney

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and current frontrunner is positioned to win the Hawkeye state. Rasmussen has Romney leading the GOP presidential primary candidate pool in Iowa by 2 percentage points ahead of Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican. At the moment, Romney is ahead of his nearest competitor by double digits in New Hampshire. The Romney campaign, which is looking to convince conservatives within the GOP that Mr. Romney follows a Reaganesque philosophy. new ad titled “American Optimismwhich is playing on New Hampshire’s airwaves. Only he and Congressman Paul managed to make it on to the Virginia ballot—a testament to being a presidential candidate in 2008.  

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Newt Gingrich

Despite some speculation that the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is so damaged from attack ads via a pro-Mitt Romney Super PAC, that he may not be able to organize his campaign towards states where he is more viable, according to the Chicago Tribune, Mr. Gingrich has said he will stay in the race no matter how he does in the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday. 

Rick Santorum

Former Senator Rick Santorum is showing the work he has accomplished in Iowa is finally paying off in the polls. The Pennsylvania Republican, who had been previously written off as a low polling candidate who would likely drop out after the Iowa caucuses is surprising political observers with a last minute surge showing him in 3rd in several Iowa polls, including the Des Moines Register. The question remains, however, if Mr. Santorum can take whatever momentum via a potential success from Iowa to other states and actually challenge a highly organized and well funded Mitt Romney. 

Ron Paul

Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, is polling in the upper tier in a number of Iowa polls, but some wonder if Congressman Paul’s knack for organizing large numbers of young people and potential to compete in both Iowa and New Hampshire can extend to states like South Carolina and Florida. Rep. Paul’s economic policy may be popular among a number of Republicans, but constant messaging about why his foreign policy could be considered more liberal than Barack Obama’s is doing damage to his campaign along with the re-examination of controversial newsletters under his name. Rep. Paul said he was only the publisher not a writer or the editor of the newsletters. 

Rick Perry

Texas Governor Rick Perry is in the midst of trying to re-boot his presidential campaign in Iowa, and like his fellow opponents minus Romney and Paul, Mr. Perry is suing the commonwealth of Virginia to get on the state’s ballot. Governor Perry is struggling to get a chunk of Iowa evangelical voters that both Santorum and Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, are also targeting. The Perry campaign appears to be spiraling, as a recent Politico piece describes the Perry camp is pointing fingers out each other already.

Michele Bachmann

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll, but the talk on the streets of Iowa, according to Fox News, is that she risks coming in dead last in the caucuses and would be the first straw poll winner to do so if this were to happen. Although, many say that her campaign is over after Iowa, strategically, Romney would benefit if Bachmann’s campaign remained and split the social conservative vote with Santorum and Perry. Bachmann also may have to pay off campaign debts before she even thinks about running for her congressional re-election bid in Minnesota. 

Jon Huntsman

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is MIA in Iowa and for all intents and purposes told Iowans that their support does not mean much to him, but that support from residents in New Hampshire does. While Huntsman knew that finding support in Iowa would be tough, his polling in New Hampshire is not as strong as Romney who is leading by double digits. Saying that in Iowa people “pick corn” as opposed to New Hampshire where people “pick presidents,” Gov. Huntsman showed his slip. By insulting voters he would be vying for in the general election, makes one wonder if he is truly serious about this presidential campaign.