With the Ames Straw Poll about six weeks away, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann are virtually tied among likely GOP caucus-goers, according to a new poll by the Des Moines Register.
Romney is backed by 23 percent, while Bachmann commands 22 percent support. Herman Cain is a distant third (10 percent). Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich tie for fourth place at 7 percent support. Tim Pawlenty, who started airing TV ads in Iowa this week, has 6 percent support, while Rick Santorum commands 4 percent and Jon Huntsman 2 percent.
Romney, who lost Iowa to Huckabee in 2008, has made little effort in the state this year, and recently announced that he will not participate in the Ames Straw Poll.