As Mitt Romney plays down expectations, Newt Gingrich revels in his national momentum and Herman Cain finds his support slipping, the bellwether of all bellwether states, Iowa, is now looking at a four-way race: with Ron Paul gaining ground. Bloomberg News, which used the same polling outfit as The Des Moines Register, finds a statistical dead heat among the top candidates, with a lot (60 percent of respondents) who haven't completely made up their minds:
A Bloomberg News poll shows Cain at 20 percent, Paul at 19 percent, Romney at 18 percent and Gingrich at 17 percent among the likely attendees with the caucuses that start the nominating contests seven weeks away.
The biggest beneficiary from the poll, despite the still-alive Newtmentum, looks like Ron Paul. In Real Clear Politics rolling average of all polls, he's been trailing in fourth-place behind Cain, Romney, and Gingrich in Iowa. To be bumped all the way to a statistical dead-heat in the race seems encouraging for the libertarian, whose top adviser, Jesse Benton, has already made clear that they need a top three finish in Iowa and New Hampshire to have a shot at improbably snagging the GOP nomination.