Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney led the Des Moines Register Iowa poll released Saturday night, with Texas Rep. Ron Paul close behind and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in third. Romney had 24%, Paul was at 22% and Santorum had 15% in the final major poll before Tuesday's Iowa caucuses.
The poll from the states largest paper has a good track record; its poll released shortly before the 2008 Republican caucuses almost mirrored the outcome a few days later.
In 2008, the poll showed 32% of those surveyed supported Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who went on to get 34% of the vote in the caucuses and Romney, who finished second in the poll with 26%, got 25% in the caucuses.
The latest two major polls of Iowa Republicans were similar to the Register poll. An NBC/Marist poll released Friday showed Romney with 23% and Paul with 21%, and a CNN/Time/ORC International poll released Wednesday showed Romney and Paul statisti cally tied for the top spot, with 25% and 22%, respectively.
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