One clear sign of that uncertainty: In the last two days of polling (which began Tuesday), Santorum had surged to second place with 21 percent and Paul had dropped back to third with 18 percent.
Making things even squirrelier, Democrats and Independents have the right to show up on caucus night, change their party registration, and participate as newly baptized Republicans. If the weather’s decent, many might just do that.
If races like this are all about momentum and expectations, Romney seems happy to be Mr. Steady-as-he goes. He’s not the wild favorite among Republicans – far from it – but he hasn’t stumbled (yet), and he’s been able to fend off challengers. His Des Moines Register figures track similarly to CNN/Time/ORC and NBC/Marist polls earlier in the week.
And, unlike the early months of the race when he didn’t spend a lot of time in Iowa, Romney has virtually camped out here recently, and he’s at the point now where he’s promising to come back after he’s been nominated. He’ll spend Monday in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Dubuque.
What Romney also has going for him is the growing perception of electability come the general election – something neither Santorum nor Paul has. Asked who would be “the most electable in the general election,” Romney is way ahead of all the others with 48 percent.
As the clock ticks inexorably toward Tuesday, timing seems to be on Romney’s side as well.