As U.S. News's Rebekah Metzler reports, Texas Rep. Ron Paul now leads in Iowa, where the state's caucuses will kick off the Republican presidential primary season January 3. The well-organized Paul campaign has gained ground while former Speaker of House Newt Gingrich's loses steam. U.S. News's Ken Walsh credits Paul's popularity among young people, a demographic crucial to President Obama's 2008 win, as a driving force behind the Texas libertarian's recent surge. Furthermore, Paul is perhaps the most ideologically consistent among the candidates, a quality that stands out against front-runner former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is often criticized for flip-flopping.
However not everyone is convinced that Paul's momentum can last. Even before a single vote has been cast, a number of GOP 2012 candidates—Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain, and most recently Gingrich—have all quickly risen and fallen, while Romney has remained steady in the top-tier. Thomas Jefferson Street's Boris Epshteyn argued, "Romney's consistency in the polls is a sign of the voters' long-term, durable familiarity and comfort with him, his background, and, most importantly, his policies."
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Previously: Does Michele Bachmann Hate Muslims?