Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – As the final 24 hours tick away before the Iowa caucuses begin; it’s looking like a dead heat between Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and a rapidly rising Rick Santorum.
According to the latest Public Policy Polling poll, all three are within the margin of error with Paul leading with 20 percent, Romney second at 19 percent, and Santorum at 18 percent.
PPP polls, which are typically affiliated with the Democratic Party, also showed Newt Gingrich fading with 14 percent, Rick Perry capturing 10 percent and Michele Bachmann garnering 8 percent support in Iowa.
Whoever wins the Iowa caucuses will have a brief bump before Mitt Romney is expected to easily win the New Hampshire primaries. The GOP will then focus on South Carolina where in the last polling of the state showed Newt Gingrich leading the field.
Then, all eyes turn to the biggest primary before Super Tuesday, the Florida primary.
Florida’s primary is set for January 31st and with the potential for multiple candidates to win a state heading into Florida’s vote, the Sunshine State’s power could be flexed early in the 2012 race.
The latest polling in Florida showed that Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney were running ahead of the field. But, if Gingrich fails badly in Iowa and New Hampshire, it could spell major trouble for the former Speaker of the House.
The GOP primary season has essentially broken down to many of the more conservative wings trying to settle on any candidate other than Mitt Romney, while Romney continued to run a safe campaign that has kept him poised to win the eventual nomination from the Republican Party.