As the rest of the Republican presidential candidates leap-frog one another in the polls, Mitt Romney has over the last several days watched his numbers quietly rise, lending confidence to his sudden push for a strong finish in the Iowa caucuses.
All along, the former Massachusetts governor's strategy was built around a dominating performance in the first-in-the-nation primary, in New Hampshire. Iowa, a caucus state where he finished a distant second to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2008, had not been a priority for Romney -- he skipped the Iowa straw poll in August and until recently had for the most part kept the state off his campaign itinerary.
But while Romney still looks untouchable for the moment in New Hampshire, several recent polls show him narrowly leading in Iowa -- a contest where he is now devoting all his time.
Challenged on whether he really had his heart in the Iowa game Thursday, Romney said he did, noting that he's looking beyond Iowa as well.