LE MARS, Iowa -- Mitt Romney is the clear Republican front-runner in Iowa in the final days before the first voting in the 2012 presidential election. But that's where the clarity ends in this unpredictable nomination race.
Five others are fighting, as they have all year, to emerge as the Romney alternative.
The ascendant Rick Santorum and Rick Perry are battling to win over social conservatives. Libertarian-leaning Ron Paul is working to preserve support that's starting to slip. Newt Gingrich is struggling to end his sharp slide.