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Two Weeks Before Caucuses, Many Iowans Still Wavering

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann visits with Pastor Marvin Smith III at the Harvest Baptist Church on Dec. 18 in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann visits with Pastor Marvin Smith III at the Harvest Baptist Church on Dec. 18 in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Only two weeks to go until Iowa Republicans head to their caucuses to begin choosing a presidential nominee and NPR's Pam Fessler reports on Monday's Morning Edition that many are still trying to decide who will win their votes.

"Across the state, many voters say their minds are still open. The Des Moines Register's latest Iowa Poll found that more than 70 percent of likely caucus-goers were either undecided, or had a first choice, but could still be persuaded to vote for someone else," Fessler reports.

But if things feel more fluid than usual this year, pollster Ann Selzer, who conducts the Iowa Poll, tells Fessler that just as many caucus-goers were undecided this late in the game four years ago — that's just the nature of the caucuses.

"It's just the way this culture works. We don't have to decide. There's a lot of things happening. There's a lot of intensity. And it's unlike any other place. So there is no advantage to locking in early, especially when things could change very close to the end," Selzer tells Fessler.

Over at Real Clear Politics, the latest average of Iowa polls Monday morning shows a tightening race with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney all vying for first place.

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