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Sunday
Jan012012

Des Moines Register Poll: Santorum Rising, Romney on Top

ABC News(OTTUMWA, Iowa) -- Three days before the Iowa caucuses a New Year’s Eve Des Moines Register poll shows Rick Santorum gaining momentum in Iowa, but still running behind first place finisher Mitt Romney and second-place contender Ron Paul.

Here are Saturday Night’s results:

Romney 24

Paul 22

Santorum 15

Gingrich 12

Perry 11

Bachmann 7

But, there’s an important twist that is not reflected in the instant look at the numbers. In the final two days of polling, Santorum moved ahead to second place with 21 behind Romney with 24 while Paul falls to third place with 18.

The other GOP contenders remain the same.

Santorum had finished up his fifth and final event of the day here in Ottumwa where he reacted to the results just minutes after The Register released the poll.

“We are the one who has the best chance to pick up and finish maybe even head of Mitt Romney. We still have a ways to go, but we are the one on the move and that’s pretty exciting,” Santorum told reporters who informed him of the results.

“I think we are the candidate that conservatives are starting to rally around and that I think is pretty clear from the poll that we are in the campaign with momentum and conservatives want to stop Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum is the train that is right at his heels,” Santorum said. “And to the extent that they want to send a conservative message out of Iowa I think it’s pretty clear the campaign they need to be supporting.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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