Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said Wednesday he is peaking at the right time. He says Ron Paul for President 2012 a real shot.

Paul notes that he's closing in on poll front-runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in the race to gain the Republican party's presidential nomination. Paul, the Texas congressman, has run the proverbial marathon while others like Texas Governor Rick Perry and businessman Herman Cain ran sprints but quickly flamed out.

Paul is still in the race, and his recent momentum is undeniable.

With a passionate group of followers, Paul believes he's gaining in a tightening race with fewer candidates and picking up a more broad base of conservative support. While Gingrich has moved to the lead in some recent polls, for instance, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll reveals that Gingrich has a high unfavorable rating from many voters, including many Republicans.

Paul feels his timing is right, and that he will fare well in upcoming Republican contests, including a vote set for Jan. 3 in Iowa. A new poll by Public Policy Polling shows Paul just one percentage point behind Gingrich in Iowa. Romney, a long among the leaders in the race, was third in the poll with 16 percent, while Paul had 21 percent and Gingrich 22 percent.

The momentum is building up and a lot of the candidates so far would come and go. They would shoot to the top and drop back rapidly. Ours has been very steady growth, then in this last week or two there has been a sudden extra growth, Paul told reporters after meeting voters in Amherst, New Hampshire, according to Reuters.

Paul is hoping the third time is the charm. He's run two previous times for president, and many consider this third attempt is still unlikely to yield a GOP nomination. But many said Gingrich was a no-factor months ago after he trended in single digits as Perry and Cain took turns at or near the top.

Paul hopes similarly that endurance will pay off, and that as others candidates have fallen by the wayside a larger base of conservatives will get on board.

In New Hampshire, where Paul was speaking Wednesday, a new poll from Rasmussen Reports show Paul had gained on both Romney, the leader, and Gingrich, in second place from previous results. He had narrowed a 10-point gap with Gingrich to four points, for instance.

In political terms, it probably means we're peaking at the right time, Paul said.