WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is preparing for a higher profile in Iowa. He could land a knockout punch in the first-caucus state if two rivals don't quickly fix their campaign problems.
Romney is also watching to see whether former House Speaker Newt Gingrich can excite voters.
The former Massachusetts governor recently recorded a TV campaign ad in eastern Iowa. Early use of the ad might signal that Romney is abandoning his low-expectations strategy in Iowa, where he came in second in 2008.
Meanwhile, Herman Cain and Rick Perry are trying to move beyond serious problems. Cain is still dogged by questions surrounding sex harassment accusations from a decade ago. And Perry is trying to recover from a much-discussed memory lapse during a debate Wednesday.