Countdown to Decision 2012 Begins in Iowa

Published On: Jan 02 2012 03:50:06 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 03 2012 09:30:13 AM CST
DES MOINES, Iowa -

On Tuesday, following a flurry of political glad-handling and then speeches designed to bring voters on board, Republicans will cast their ballots in the Iowa caucuses.

There is no rest for the weary on the campaign trail.

Some of the candidates are crisscrossing the state, hitting three or more cities in a single day because it's really anyone's game as of Monday.

The Republican presidential hopefuls are making their way across the Hawkeye state, a down to the wire push in a very crowded field of candidates.

Student Matthew Murphy said, "I really like Michelle Bachmann, and I also like Newt. Ron Paul is a little out there sometimes, but, you know, he's good. I don't really like Mitt Romney too much."

Recent polls show Romney, Rick Santorum and Paul all within striking distance of each other.

In this last push in Iowa, it's all about shoring up support and clinching those undecided votes.

Iowan Karen Poe is one of the coveted "undecideds."

Poe said, "We've seen several of the candidates. We hope to get all of them in. It's nice to see them in person and to decide for myself."

Lately, she's leaning toward Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

"Everything he said when we saw him, we were in agreement with," Poe said.

Perry has outspent his rivals in Iowa, though he's fallen behind to fifth place at last poll. He said he can taste victory.

"We're not here for second place," he said.

At a rowdy rally in Des Moines, Paul brought in his son, Sen. Rand Paul.

Tom Bragg of Honey Grove, Texas, is a loyal follower and said Ron Paul's recent surge can't be ignored.

"I like a lot of things that Ron says, and I think that's what scares a lot of other people off," Bragg said.

As the clock ticks down, the pressure only increases as the nation watches to see which way Iowa will go.

The "whistle stops" will continue right up until the caucuses convene 7 p.m. Tuesday.