Three-way tie in GOP Iowa caucus race

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters and gives autographs during a rally at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa. Polls show that Romney is in a three-way tie with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum to win the Iowa caucus.

The Iowa caucus race is tight for Republican candidates Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who are in a three-way tie, according to Public Policy Polling (PPP). 

The latest poll shows the three in a dead heat, with Ron Paul at 20 percent, Mitt Romney at 19 percent, and Rick Santorum at 18 percent of likely caucus-goers' votes.

The three front-runners are followed by Newt Gingrich at 14 percent, Rick Perry at 10 percent, Michele Bachmann at 8 percent, Jon Huntsman at 4 percent, and Buddy Roemer at 2 percent. 

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According to Public Policy Polling, Santorum is gathering speed and strength: 

"The momentum in the race is completely on Santorum's side," The PPP poll said. "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. Among voters who say they decided who to vote for in the last seven days he leads Romney 29 to 17, with Paul and Gingrich both at 13."

More from GlobalPost: Santorum surges, Gingrich falls behind in Iowa: poll 

Ron Paul's numbers saw a sharp decline, from 24 percent earlier this week down to his current 20 percent. However, PPP predicted that Paul still has a "very decent chance" at winning the Iowa caucus, if his coalition of young voters and non-Republicans really comes out to support him at the polls tomorrow. 

Romney is sitting comfortably in second place. 

“I’ve seen polls in the past and I know it’s very difficult to predict who will actually caucus in Iowa, but I think I’m getting a real strong sendoff,” Romney told Politico. “I’m pretty encouraged.”

“This is a contest about the economy and about the budget and about foreign affairs, but it’s also an election that is bigger than that,” Romney said at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, calling the election a battle for the “soul of America.”

Iowa has the prestigious position of being the first state to hold a caucus to decide the presidential candidates. Iowans will vote tomorrow, January 3, starting at 7 p.m. Central Time. 

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