If the polls are correct, the real battle in Tuesday's New Hampshire Republican presidential primary is for second place, and independent voters could be key.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the front-runner with at least a 13point lead, according to the latest opinon surveys. He has the support of 33 percent of likely voters, according to a Suffolk University tracking poll. Fighting for second place are Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.
Paul, a libertarian, seems to have a solid base of about 20 percent. Huntsman, a moderate conservative, has moved up a bit from single digits to the mid-teens, but he seems to have momentum and might catch Paul at the last moment.
Trailing are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is bypassing New Hampshire, is in last place, with about 1 percent.
One important factor in New Hampshire is that independents can vote in the Democratic or Republican primaries. That won't matter for the Democrats, since President Obama has no serious opposition for his party's nomination. But for the Republicans, it could make a big difference.
The independents tend to add a note of unpredictability since their turnout and preferences are difficult to forecast. Many independents tell pollsters they won't make up their minds until the last minute.
Forty percent of Americans nationwide say they are independents, with the Democrats and Republicans splitting the remainder of the electorate, according to Gallup. If this turns out to be the percentage breakdown in New Hampshire, it could make for some volatile results.