Ron Paul the new frontrunner in Iowa


Three weeks ago, Newt Gingrich led some Iowa polls by 15 points. He told ABC News, "I will be the nominee."

Ten days ago, he led by double digits. Today, in an Iowa State University poll, he's trailing in Iowa and our neighbor, Congressman Ron Paul, is leading the pack.

Consistent Ron Paul is preaching the same message he started in Iowa with, but now his supporters have him on top.

"You know everybody pays attention here, that's why one vote here is so valuable, and it can send a powerful message," Rep. Paul said.

After months of campaigning, years of organizing and weeks of anti-Newt ads, Paul has pushed back the former Speaker of the House, who today was fighting more than his fellow candidates.

As he accepted an endorsement, Occupy Wall Street protesters shouted Gingrich down, urging him to put people first. The protesters were shoved out, but later spoke to Gingrich.

On Iowa TV, it seems the approaching holiday has even the campaigns in the Christmas spirit. Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are all out with softer ads today. Perry and Romney feature their wives telling love stories and offering support.

Perry is on the ground in Iowa continuing his bus tour. So is Michelle Bachmann. And Rick Santorum is there as well. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson dropped out of the race today.

And Romney continues to spend time outside Iowa -- today and tomorrow he's in New Hampshire.

Ron Paul says he doesn't want to run as a third party candidate, but if he did he'd pull 21 percent of the vote and likely help re-elect President Barack Obama.

If those Iowa polls hold where they are now and Ron Paul does win the Iowa caucus, there are some grumblings out today that it would hurt Iowa's "first in the nation" image. The theory being it only takes a few thousand eager supporters to win Iowa and may not be representative of the nation.

To back that claim, critics point to Iowa's history showing that in just 50 percent of Iowa caucuses since 1976 have Iowans picked the eventual nominee.

Ted Oberg and Tom Abrahams will be traveling to Iowa for next month's caucuses and will bring you live Eyewitness News team coverage on the very latest developments there.

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