Romney casts Ron Paul as fringe candidate
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - The polls suggest that Ron Paul could be the only Republican who could cost Mitt Romney a victory in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses. And Romney is setting out to make sure that doesn't happen.
During TV interviews today, Romney said he doesn't think that Paul "represents the mainstream." Paul hasn't responded.
Romney spoke after campaigning this morning with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. After dashing back to New Hampshire, Romney returns to Iowa tomorrow, and plans to remain in the state through caucus night -- a sign of his confidence in a state that he had been downplaying for months.
A new NBC-Marist poll finds Romney and Paul virtually tied for the lead among likely caucus-goers, with Rick Santorum surging into third place. Rick Perry inches up to fourth, and Newt Gingrich slides to fifth. Michele Bachmann is at the back of the pack.
Tea party supporters are essentially divided evenly across the Republican field.