It's anybody's game in Iowa
Forget the polls. Forget the confident pronoucements from all the candidates. There are so many unknowns that will probably affect the outcome of tonight's Iowa Caucuses that anyone who says they have a handle on who will win is kidding themselves - and you.
"I don't know what the result is going to be, but it's going to be a surprise and a pleasant one for us," Santorum told Fox News on Tuesday, counting on his supporters to go into the 1,700 caucus sites to make a case that he is a viable candidate to go head-to-head with President Obama.
Santorum said he has the essential ingredients headed into the evening's endeavor.
"Caucuses are about enthusiasm and momentum, and we certainly have enthusiasm and momentum," he said.
But Michele Bachmann, an Iowa native and the candidate casting herself as the only real conservative in the race, said she has traveled 6,900 miles in the Hawkeye State alone and has the backing of 200 pastors.
"I think we're going to surprise a lot of people here tonight," she said, claiming "soft, hidden support" will reveal itself at the voting sites.
Mitt Romney has been pretty guarded in his predictions so far, though his confidence has shown through, most recently with remarks to supporters expressing confidence that he could take it all the way, starting in Iowa.
"I need every single vote in this room and I need you to get another couple of other votes from your neighborhood and get them to caucus," Romney said. "We're going to win this thing with all of our passion and strength and do everything we can to get this campaign on the right track to go across the nation and to pick up other states and to get the ballots I need and the votes I need to become our nominee."
On Tuesday, Romney said he's prepared to take on President Obama.
"We created more jobs in Massachusetts than this president created in this entire country," Romney told Fox News. "We'll be comparing my record with his record, and he comes up very short."
Meanwhile, Gingrich has been trying to dampen expectations while Rick Perry has been raising them. Neither figures to finish near the top, but who's going to say otherwise? The fact is, this is the most unsettled Iowa Caucuses in memory and anything can - and is liable - to happen.
C-Span will offer continuous coverage while the cable nets will be fading in and out of the picture until the night is over and the results released.
For political junkies, it doesn't get any better than this.