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There is a big target on Newt Gingrich's back in the final countdown to the Iowa GOP presidential caucus. Since Gingrich emerged as Mitt Romney's main challenger for frontrunner status, a Super PAC supporting Romney has been spending heavily against Gingrich. Meanwhile, other contenders for the Not-Romney title are trying to knock Gingrich from that slot. That adds up to quite a barrage:

In Iowa, residents can hardly turn on a television without seeing an ad that is critical of Mr. Gingrich. According to figures from Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, Iowans have been shown commercials with a negative message about Mr. Gingrich more than 1,200 times in the last few weeks.

It's not just television ads, either; Gingrich is being slammed in direct mail and on the stump, all because Romney is banking on the rest of the field not having what it takes to grab hold of the Not-Romney title in the next two weeks, while Perry, Santorum and Ron Paul are betting they can do just that.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Dec 20, 2011 at 11:22 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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