Just days before the Iowa caucus, the forever-surgingsweater-vest wearing former Pennsylvanian Senator came third behind Mitt Romney and Ron Paul in the latest Des Moines Register poll, but a swing in voting in the last two days prompted him to tell Talking Points Memo, "I'm a tortoise." 

Mitt led the entire poll with 24 percent of the vote, while Ron Paul was only inches behind him with 22 percent. Santorum was a distant third with 15 percent, but his knock-on-every-door campaign strategy led to a late surge over the last two days of voting. Des Moines Register reporter Jennifer Jacobs tweeted that in the last two days of voting the percentages of the top three choices shook out a little differently: Romney was still in first with 24 percent, but Santorum came in second with 21 percent and Paul came in third with 18. The late surge in the final days leading up to the end of the race paints the picture of a hare sprinting towards the finish line more than the slow and steady tortoise, but we digress. 

All the way back in fifth place, behind Romney, Paul, Santorum the tortoise and Newt, is Rick Perry. He was only able to snag about 11 percent of the vote in the poll. Perry was mostly a second-place choice in the eyes of those polled by the Des Moines Register, which puts him dangerously to drop out territory. But the New York Times' Nate Silver thinks he could be a surprise winner once Iowans go to the polls. He explains: 

But for those looking for a glimmer of hope in Mr. Perry’s numbers, I was able to identify one. Mr. Perry was fairly often named as a second-place choice in a Des Moines Register poll released on Saturday. His campaign may have some hope of converting those second-place votes into first-place votes because it has a large number of precinct leaders, who under Iowa caucus rules are allowed to make a speech in favor of their candidate before the voting takes place.