GOP Goes Full Steam Ahead to Iowa

With just three days to go, all eyes are on the Iowa caucuses.
6:24 | 12/31/11

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Transcript for GOP Goes Full Steam Ahead to Iowa
Your voice your vote T minus three days until the Iowa Caucuses. Any campaign that has been fluid and fast pace at times brutal land that times let's face it bizarre it's been compared to a reality show but the stakes are. Infinitely higher in the latest twist that -- -- -- of Newt Gingrich ABC's John Karl is live in the -- this morning hey John good morning to you. Good morning -- this race is as unsettled as it has ever been with Newt Gingrich trying to regain momentum. Dark horse candidates moving up and Mitt Romney hoping for a big win. Newt Gingrich is famous for his confidence and bravado. But at a town hall meeting with Iowa bombs yesterday. He showed another side Republican pollster Frank Luntz asked about his mother who suffered from depression violence -- bring signs. Comes -- directly from new. You know have him with. But of -- -- you know. The real problems. Of real people. We met up with Gingrich earlier in the day he was all smiles despite a -- -- TV advertising it is caused him to seek to fifth place in the most recent poll. I am committed to running a positive campaign. And we have to find a way why. Well because -- -- think politics is becoming really nasty vicious negative news. And I think it's disgusting. And I think it's dishonest and the people who are running he has no they're dishonest. And I think a person would do that to try to get to be president offers -- -- -- the beginning of this press. Mitt Romney who feels more confident than ever about Iowa -- New Jersey governor Chris Christie to campaign forum here is it time to have a real change in Washington. The race is wide open. I don't know I don't know welcomed with Ron Paul attracting the largest crowds in the most dedicated supporters and -- Former senator Rick Santorum what's at the back of the pack rising fast he took quite a change. Population gone. I've been around this is my first road. But I mean how to how -- that is still negative but when you -- advanced with a with a handful of people outside you've got. Also making a late surge as Texas governor Rick Perry after stumbling badly I can't start. Groups Perry is making a comeback in the polls and has spent more on TV ads than any other candidate. John you've been covering politics for a long time not to -- -- -- still very young man but you've got some experience given your experience what is different about Iowa this time around. What the whole -- look at the caucuses this time. I have never seen a more topsy turvy race at various times over the past four months -- so. I count six different candidates that had the lead at one point or the other in fact in August it was Michelle Bachman was the clear lead in the -- -- here. She is now in last place in most of the polls among those competing in Iowa six different runners it's it's incredible. Jon Karl thanks for your reporting this morning be on over to you it's all right Dan let's bring in Republican strategist Mary Matlin who's in New Orleans this morning good morning to -- Mary thanks so much for joining us on this New Year's Eve. Good morning and happy new -- happy new -- CEO -- -- Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are leading the pack an IO right now really European is gonna come out on top. While the polls show Romney. The trans -- it's trending toward Romney with all the important. Caucus -- Republicans Tea Party affiliated. Women he's only. Losing the unaffiliated but caucus goers to Ron Paul but -- two thirds ahead. Of all the other Republicans so momentum is as important as organization and he as well so if Romney does when is this race essentially over. No we have an unprecedented situation here the Republican Party is changed its girls Wear him a front loaded proportional. Allocation of delegates so there's no incentive for second tier second place candidates to get out they can keep accruing delegates while not coming in second place. And he has to win it he won't win decisively he will likely win but he has to win decisively in New Hampshire. South Carolina -- if he gets to Florida is still on set up for others to get out but -- To be -- not the land that's pretty tough business and much will vulnerability is Romney's in ability it's this sort of leap above that 25% approval rating -- is now. It has been a problem all the way through but ironically Newt's a scent new surge made -- a better candidate the last man standing than that this protection. Program wasn't working conservatives wanted to see not just conservatism. On display but proud conservatism -- conservatism and that it could fight and when he took the gloves off and got out there he became much more articulate yet on conservative things and so they can fight and it's going to be a fight against Obama and you mention new surge we've seen act as surprising fall as well in the polls as a -- just mean that the negative ads -- in -- -- Yes but I think the conventional wisdom is that the volume of them the barrage of them was what was determinative it's really that. The substance. Of them -- dissent because owing to his articulation. Of conserve activism and the fact the substance of those ads show that his fidelity to conservatism is. Very in the in the past and that's what -- it was a substance not bribes. And as we heard from Jon Karl of -- topsy turvy race so is it too early to count other candidates out specifically Rick Santorum Rick Perry we saw a recent surge from both of them as of late to help. Well there's always solid -- position for candidates. More conservative. Than Mitt Romney's perceived to be but. There's only one hole I think that or conservative coming out of Iowa. And -- is the only one who has enough -- sources. To go the distance I think if there's any more distance to go after the next couple of states. All right Mary we appreciate your time this morning we're have to leave it there the intensity of this race continues having near -- -- your hasn't. Happy new year to you and there right thank you well one week from today the Republican contenders will be gathering in New Hampshire for our next ABC news debate Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos will be moderating.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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