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Rising Santorum targeted by GOP rivals in Iowa

By Thomas Beaumont

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Jan. 1 2012 10:46 a.m. MST

Gingrich said he was encouraged by one finding in the new poll — that 41 percent of voters could change their mind about who to support.

Indeed, with many factors at play, the dynamics can shift rapidly.

Yet two things were clear on the final weekend before the caucuses: The yearlong effort to establish a consensus challenger to Romney had so far come up short, and Romney's carefully laid plan to survive Iowa may succeed because conservative voters had yet to unite behind one candidate.

Bachmann redoubled her effort woo evangelicals Sunday.

She took to the pulpit at Jubilee Family Church in Oskaloosa, where for more than 30 minute she guided the congregation to several favorite Bible passages and shared her testimony for giving herself over to God as a teenager in Minnesota.

"The Holy Spirit cleansed me and gave me a peace I'd never before had in my heart," she said

Perry had no campaign events planned after attending church in West Des Moines. He was to travel to Greenville, S.C., the day after the caucuses, bypassing next-up New Hampshire, which holds its primary Jan. 10. He intended to participate in two debates in New Hampshire next weekend.

Campaigning alone in New Hampshire, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said it would be that state that sends a message about which candidate is most electable. He is skipping the Iowa contest and has made modest inroads in New Hampshire after months near the bottom of the polls.

Associated Press writers Philip Elliott in West Des Moines, Shannon McCaffrey in Des Moines, Brian Bakst in Oskaloosa and Holly Ramer in Derry, N.H., in contributed to this report.

Follow Beth Fouhy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bfouhy

Follow Thomas Beaumont on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TomBeaumont

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