The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, January 3, 2012

By Jayce Henderson

Jan 3, 2012 3:16am

The Note’s Must-Reads are a round-up of today’s political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jayce Henderson, Jacqueline Fernandez and Amanda VanAllen

IOWA CAUCUS:
ABC News’ Rick Klein: “Iowa Viewer’s Guide: Romney Already a Winner, and the Non-Romney Race” Mitt Romney, as he has all year, faces off against himself. He’s in the enviable position of being able to win even if he loses — unless he loses spectacularly. The rest of the field will jockey with each other for the only other position that matters: the non-Romney candidate. One of them may win that mantle, yet all of them might lose. LINK

The New York Times: “On Eve of First Voting of ’12, a Last Pitch in Iowa” On the last full day of campaigning before the Iowa caucuses, the crowds were bigger, the appeals were more urgent, but the field was just as unsettled as when campaigning began in earnest about a year ago. As the six candidates implored Iowans to turn out Tuesday night to support them, New York Times reporters captured the campaigning. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Sara Murray, Patrick O’ Connor and Douglas Belkin: “Iowa Race Down to the Wire” Mitt Romney, seeking to cement his position as front-runner, sounded broad themes of patriotism and restoring America’s glory as he and five Republican presidential rivals crisscrossed Iowa Monday in a final blast of campaigning a day before the nation’s first nominating contest. LINK

Bloomberg’s Lisa Lerer and Tim Higgins:  “Republican Presidential Candidates Make Final Push in Iowa Before Caucuses” Mitt Romney vied with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul for the top spot in tonight’s Iowa (BEESIA) caucuses in their last full day of campaigning, while their rivals faced the possibility that their campaigns could come to an abrupt end.  LINK

MITT ROMNEY:
The Washington Post’s Jason Horowitz: “Romney’s religion still a sticking point” On a recent afternoon at the Kanesville Tabernacle, the historic site along the Mormon Trail where pioneers selected Brigham Young to lead their church in 1847, Sister LaRae Wright lamented that 150 years later many Iowans still know nothing about the Mormon faith. LINK

The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan: “Romney vs. ‘anyone but’ in Iowa” Four years after a second-place finish in Iowa’s caucuses mortally wounded his campaign, Mitt Romney is counting on the state to write a different story on Tuesday – a win here could go a long way toward sewing up the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. LINK

The Lost Angeles Times’ Seema Mehta: “Romney: ‘We’re going to win’” Mitt Romney, seeking a first-place finish in the caucuses that eluded him four years ago, grew increasingly confident Monday, predicting victory when Iowa holds the first presidential voting contest in the nation. LINK

RICK SANTORUM:
The Hill’s Cameron Joseph: “Santorum touts blue-collar upbringing in Iowa GOP voters” Rick Santorum who has surged in Iowa thanks to support from evangelical, socially conservative voters touted his blue-collar upbringing on Monday telling The Hill that his early years in the coal region near Pittsburgh influenced his views and helped him connect with voters. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Jonathan Lemire: “GOP presidential candidates make all-out, final-day push before the Iowa caucus Tuesday” The Republican presidential candidates dashed across Iowa Monday, logging hundreds of miles and shaking as many hands as possible in making impassioned closing arguments to voters. LINK

RICK PERRY:
ABC News’ Arlette Saenz: “Perry: Winning the Iowa Caucuses Is ‘Only Scoreboard That Matter’” In a town that bears the same name he does, Texas Gov. Rick Perry told supporters gathered at the final rally of his bus tour that none of the polls leading up to the caucuses matter: Winning the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night is the only thing that’s important. LINK

MICHELE BACHMANN:
USA Today’s Catalina Camia: “Bachmann casts herself as ‘Iron Lady’ in TV ad” Michele Bachmann is backing up her closing argument to Iowa voters with a TV ad pitching herself as a “consistent conservative fighter” and a native of the Hawkeye State. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
2012: Rick Santorum Explains ’06 LossLINK
Newt Gingrich to Hit Mitt Romney ‘Every Day’LINK
Can Rick Santorum Finish First in Iowa?LINK

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