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Romney goes unscathed (so far)

 

If you buy the new CNN/Time poll and the other anecdotal evidence of growing crowds and newfound swagger, Mitt Romney is on the verge of winning next week's Iowa caucuses.

And he could do it with the same percentage -- 25% -- that gave him a second-place finish in Iowa four years ago.

If that happens, it would mean that Romney -- who supported abortion rights just six years ago, who enacted an individual health-care mandate in Massachusetts, and who raised revenues to balance his state's budget -- would be thisclose to wrapping up his party's presidential nomination.

So why are his GOP presidential rivals attacking each other and not Romney?

Consider some of today's activity:

-- Rick Perry is up with a new TV ad hitting Bachmann, Gingrich, Paul, and Santorum for their current or previous service in Congress. But it makes no mention of Romney.

 

-- Perry, while campaigning in Iowa today, called Santorum a "prolific earmarker" who "voted for the Bridge to Nowhere" and "loaded up on Pennsylvania pork," per NBC's Carrie Dann.

-- And Jon Huntsman's campaign has a new web video hitting Paul for those racially charged newsletters.

And this all raises the point we raised in First Thoughts this morning: Romney can win Iowa with just 25% if his rivals split up the other 75%.