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Romney rallies supporters with prediction of Iowa victory and eventual GOP nomination
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) ' Mitt Romney is about to find out if his winning prediction will come true.
Romney said he'll win the Iowa precinct caucuses Tuesday night and give a boost to the campaign that he predicted will make him the Republican nominee for president.
Romney rallied hundreds of supporters Monday night in the Iowa town of Clive. He spent the day crossing eastern Iowa, stopping in cities where he performed well in 2008.
The former Massachusetts governor will start Tuesday with another rally in Des Moines ahead of an evening gathering at the Hotel Fort Des Moines to wait for the caucus results.
His chief opponents, polls show, are Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. But thousands of caucus-goers remain undecided.
Romney faces the same challenge he had in 2008: winning over conservatives skeptical of his moderate record and changes on the social issues important to the state's many evangelical voters.
The two candidates his campaign worried most about ' Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich ' have become less of a threat in Iowa. Instead of focusing on his rivals, Romney has saved most of his criticism for Democratic President Barack Obama.
Perry is skipping next week's primary in New Hampshire to compete instead in the first-in-the-South primary in South Carolina. Gingrich's standing in polls has been badly damaged by a barrage of negative ads from Romney allies.
Romney was ever more confident as he campaigned across Iowa after the Christmas holiday, buoyed by the large crowds he's drawn and the excitement they've shown.