It's "decision day" in Iowa. Tonight, tens of thousands of Iowans will gather to support the candidate they think should be president. Barack Obama, or one of a half-dozen Republican contenders? Republican candidates argued right up to finish line.
The front-runners are trying to close the deal while former front-runners-- like Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann-- are trying to gain some ground. the trio nearly tied atop the latest poll-- Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum-- and their "closing argument" to caucus-goers.
Mitt Romney came out swinging during his only Des Moines campaign stop before Tuesday night's caucuses. Perhaps implying his eventual nomination, Romney turned his fire from his Republican opponents to President Obama, and what Romney called Obama's "failed presidency."
"He's on track in his first term-- his only term (applause)-- to have amassed public debt almost as much as all prior presidents, combined," Mitt Romney, (R) presidential candidate said.
Romney also compared his private sector experience creating jobs to the president's promise to put Americans back to work.
Romney, (R) said, "Right after he got elected... 'I'm gonna borrow $787-billion, and that'll keep unemployment below 8%.' It hasn't been below 8% since."
A surging Rick Santorum told a capacity crowd at a local pizza parlor that he has the best chance to beat Obama, and move America forward.
"We're the best person in this field to take on, not just Barack Obama, but the challenges after we defeat Barack Obama," said Santorum, (R).
Santorum has spent more time in Iowa than any other candidate, and polls show Iowans rewarding him for his relentlessness.
"I'm very grateful for the people of Iowa for putting us in that position," said Santorum, (R).
Ron Paul, who's the oldest candidate in this race, tried to woo some of the youngest voters in Iowa, at a "Rock the Caucus" rally at West Des Moines Valley High School by invoking the name of pop star Kelly Clarkson.
"Recently, she endorsed me a couple of weeks ago," said Rep. Ron Paul, (R) presidential candidate.
But, Paul drove home his message by addressing the rising cost of a college education.
"That's no because education costs go up. It's because the value of money goes down," said Paul, (R).
But, cash is king at caucus time. Any time will tell if these candidates invested enough in Iowa.
Those are the top three candidates in the last Des Moines Register poll. But, there are three others, including two candidates, who topped past Iowa polls, Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann.
For more on Tuesday's caucus, be sure to check out News 4's Decision 2012 page.
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