With less than 48 hours to go before the state officially kicks off the nation's presidential election season, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has emerged atop the GOP field among Iowa Republicans, polling data revealed Monday.


Despite Romney's narrow lead over Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who he's beating 24 percent to 22 percent according to The Des Moines Register, almost half of Iowa voters have not made up their minds yet.

The race in recent weeks has been back-and-forth between Paul and Romney, but former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) has also risen in the polls, leading some to speculate that he could be a spoiler.

Though he's fallen behind in the Des Moines poll, Paul still maintains a commanding lead in figures from the Democratic-associated Public Policy Polling (PPP), which surveys more than just likely Republican voters.

If his unusual coalition of younger voters -- about of a quarter of them being non-Republicans -- makes it to the polls on Tuesday, Paul could still claim a victory.

"Among actual Republican voters Paul is tied for 3rd place with Gingrich at 17%, behind Romney's 21% and Santorum's 19%," PPP noted. "But with independents and Democrats who plan to vote, which we peg at 24% of the electorate, Paul leads with 30% to just 14% each for Santorum and Romney."

This video is from CBS News, broadcast Monday, Jan. 2, 2012.