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The race for victory in the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses on January 3 is up for grabs, according to a new Bloomberg poll — with the race currently in a four way tie.Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Ron Paul, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and, Herman Cain all poll within three points — within the 4.4 point margin of error.

Fully 60 per cent of likely caucus-goers said they could still change their mind — a cause of the recent swings in the polls. 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann poll at seven per cent and five per cent, respectively — a remarkable fall for two candidates who led polls in the state earlier this cycle.

Because Iowa is a caucus state, polls don’t necessarily predict the outcome of the nominating race — but they point to the level of enthusiasm for a candidate that is crucial in the public voting process.

The poll provides no evidence of a surge by former Sen. Rick Santorum, who despite visiting all 99 of the state’s counties, polls at just 3 per cent.

A close election would help Romney — who doesn’t need to win Iowa with his strong base of support in New Hampshire — because it keeps any of the other candidates from leaving the early state with an overwhelming victory.

A narrow loss in Iowa, coupled with an overwhelming win in New Hampshire would leave Romney poised to lock up the GOP nomination in South Carolina and Florida.

Read the full poll results here >

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