In the final day of campaigning before the Iowa Caucus tomorrow, Mitt Romney compared President Barack Obama to the Kardashians, Michele Bachmann invoked Margaret Thatcher, Newt Gingrich lamented his fall from the front of the pack and Ron Paul plotted a path to the White House. Mr. Romney is currently leading in the latest Iowa polls followed by Mr. Paul. Mr. Santorum is ever so slightly ahead of Mr. Gingrich in third place.
At the moment, Mr. Romney is sitting pretty now that he’s cemented his lead in Iowa and is ahead by a wide margin in the next primary state, New Hampshire. At an event in Iowa yesterday, Mr. Romney took a shot at President Obama by comparing campaign promises the Commander in Chief made in Iowa during the last election cycle to Kim Kardashian’s brief, headline happy marriage to NBA star Kris Humphries.
“You know, I’ve been looking at some video clips on YouTube, of President Obama, then candidate Obama, going through Iowa making promises,” Mr. Romney said. “The gap between his promises and his performance is the largest I’ve seen since, well, the Kardashian wedding and the promise of ‘till death do us part.’ “
Mr. Paul was conspicuously absent from Iowa this weekend, but his advisors say they’re confident thanks to large grassroots organizing effort on the ground there and the improbable rise in the polls that has him within sight of a win. Regardless of what happens in Iowa tomorrow, Mr. Paul apparently hopes to capitalize on his momentum, organization and his legions of enthusiastic young supporters to pick up a coalition of local Republican delegates and remain in the race up until the Republican convention in Tampa in August.
If record sales are any indication, Mr. Paul does seem poised to make an impact. Pop singer Kelly Clarkson experienced a bump in downloads of her most recent album after she made a controversial endorsement of Mr. Paul on Twitter.
Mr. Santorum has ridden a boost of his own into third place. In an appearance on Des Moines sports radio station KXNO, he attempted to win over more voters by saying he understands peoples who are frustrated with the tax system because he does his own taxes and has trouble keeping the paperwork straight.
“Every year when I do them, I always get a little note from the government, ‘You screwed this up, you messed this up,’ you know you didn’t do this or that,’” Mr. Santorum said.
Mr. Gingrich, who was polling ahead of his rivals once upon a time about two weeks ago, is not pleased to find himself in fourth. At a recent campaign stop, Mr. Gingrich blamed his slide on the millions of dollars Mr. Romney spent on ads in Iowa.
“I’ve been Romney-boated,” Mr. Gingrich said, referencing the 2004 “Swift Boat” ads that torpedoed the presidential campaign of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.
Mr. Perry was also munching on sour grapes as he savored position at the back of the caucus pack with Ms. Bachmann and Jon Huntsman. In a Fox News interview today, Mr. Perry criticized Mr. Santorum and Ms. Bachmann as unprepared to mount successful White House campaigns.
“Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann don’t have a national organization in place nor the fundraising ability to go forward out of Iowa, and so I’m the only one that actually has that ability,” Mr. Perry said.
Mr. Perry, Mr. Santorum and Ms. Bachmann are all hoping to woo conservative, evangelical voters who are dissatisfied with Mr. Romney.
Ms. Bachmann, a native Iowan, focused much of her early efforts on the Hawkeye State and won the Iowa Straw Poll in August. In spite of that focus, Ms. Bachmann has failed to draw crowds in Iowa and is fighting to avoid a last place finish that many observers expect would knock her out of the race. Hoping to pull off a “miracle” win, Ms. Bachmann released a new TV ad to air in Iowa that highlights her hometown roots and dubs her “America’s ‘Iron Lady,’” a red, white and blue version of Margaret Thatcher.
Jon Huntsman has largely ignored the Iowa Caucus to focus on pulling off a strong finish in New Hampshire. He spent the weekend pushing supporters to help him pay to get an anti-Romney ad on the air in the Granite State, however it seems his efforts may actually be helping Mr. Romney stay ahead. Mr. Huntsman is currently in fourth place in New Hampshire behind Mr. Romney, Mr. Paul and Mr. Gingrich.