DES MOINES, Iowa - Republican front-runner Mitt Romney and US Representative Michele Bachmann led a closely watched presidential poll of Iowa Republicans, the state that holds the first contest in the nomination battle.
Whoever captures the nomination in the unsettled Republican field is expected to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 2012 general election.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, led the poll of likely caucus-goers with 23 percent, followed by 22 percent support for Bachmann, who is from neighboring Minnesota and a favorite of fiscal conservatives and the Tea Party.
Businessman Herman Cain had 10 percent support in the poll, US Representative Ron Paul of Texas and former US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich followed with 7 percent. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty had 6 percent while former US Senator Rick Santorum got 4 percent and former US envoy to China Jon Huntsman followed with 2 percent.