Iowa Caucus 2012 Results: Ron Paul Faring Well, Entrance Poll Says, With Romney, Santorum Close Behind

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Ron Paul
Ron Paul was accused by Rick Santorum in Saturday night's GOP debate of being "caught not telling the truth."

Ron Paul is first tier and in the lead, with Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum close behind in the Iowa Caucus 2012, according to early results and results from and entrance poll, CNN and The Associated Press report.

Romney and Paul were tied in the GOP presidential nomination caucus in entrance polls taken Tuesday. It's the first race in the 2012 presidential primaries. AP is reporting the Paul is in the lead in early results.

According to CNN, Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, was tied with Paul, the U.S. representative from Texas, at 24 percent in a sampling of voters entering the caucus at different polling places throughout the state.

But Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennyslvania, was faring well also, with 18 percent, CNN reported. Newt Gingrich was fourth in the entrance poll at 13 percent while Texas Governor Rick Perry was fifth at 11 percent and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota was sixth was seven percent. Bachmann had previously won the Iowa straw poll this summer.

The Iowa caucuses started at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Iowa has 1,774 precincts among its 99 counties where votes are cast.

According to The Associated Press, early results -- or 11 percent of precincts reporting -- Paul had 24 percent of the vote while Santorum had 23 percent and Romney had 23 percent.

Roughly 120,000 voters gathered at the locations including fire stations, schools and public facilities and even some private homes for voting.

Recent polls in Iowa have showed a close race among the leaders, including Romney and Paul, with Santorum gaining ground.

Candidates have spent tens of millions in Iowa, and campaign ads have turned particulary negative if not nasty in recent weeks as the caucus neared. 

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