Santorum Edges Out Gingrich in Iowa Poll

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Iowa voters are still thinking about the new GOP flavor of the week with only a few days remaining until next Tuesday's Republican presidential caucus.

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is rising much closer to the top of the field of candidates.

A 'dark horse' candidate is also seeing some light in Iowa as polls have former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., ahead of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Eyes on Romney 

But former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney may be the man to beat in Iowa, at least for now.

The latest CNN-Time magazine poll shows Romney leading the Republican field in the state with 25 percent.

"I'm running for president. So if you get a chance to caucus, remember the name Mitt Romney. Thank you!" the former governor told the crowd.

Paul is second with 22 percent. Santorum is in third place with 16 percent.

Gingrich topped the field three weeks ago, but he is now in fourth place with 14 percent.

"I want you to report to Gov. Romney we have taken his thought so seriously that in the tradition of Lucille Ball, we are here in the chocolate factory," Gingrich told reporters.

Gingrich poked fun at Romney for comparing his campaign to the legendary comedian's bit doing failed work on a chocolate assembly line.

Both he and Romney still face an uphill battle winning over conservatives.

Gingrich already trails Santorum, who has been spending more time in Iowa than his opponents.

"We feel the bigger numbers and we feel very, very good about how things are going," Santorum said.

Bachmann's Loss, Paul's Gain

And then there's Paul.

"Something has to change. Something will change," he said.

The Texas congressman's strong Iowa organization currently has him in second place.

Paul got a boost when state Sen. Kent Sorenson, an influential Tea Party figure, left Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign and joined the Paul organization.

Bachmann said Paul would be a dangerous president.

"Ron Paul thinks it would be fine if the Iranians obtained nuclear weapons. It's dangerous to think that Iran would be allowed to obtain them. That's Ron Paul's thinking. I oppose Ron Paul's thinking," she said.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has called Paul unelectable.

In just a few days, the polling will be over and members of the Republican party in Iowa will officially make their voices heard.

Evangelical Split Vote? 

Meanwhile, two politically active pastors in Iowa are urging Santorum or Bachmann to drop out of the race to avoid splitting votes among the state's strong evangelical voting bloc.

Rev. Cary Gordon, a Sioux City minister, and the Rev. Albert Calloway, a retired pastor from Indianola, said the move would work if one candidate endorsed the other.

The effort to persuade one of the candidates to step down reflects concern among some evangelical voters that a candidate who does not track as closely with conservatives could win the caucuses.

The fear of a divided social conservative vote is widespread among the Iowa's evangelical clergy, though few church leaders have reached out to candidates.

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