With the Iowa caucuses one week away, Ron Paul is standing his ground in Iowa, according to a Public Policy Poll released on Wednesday.

Paul leads the field with 24 percent, but Mitt Romney is a close second at 20 percent.

The survey of 565 likely Republican caucus-goers was conducted on Dec. 26 and 27, indicating that so far Paul has weathered the intense media focus and attacks from his rivals centered on the controversial newsletters that bear his name and some of his foreign policy views that fall outside of the mainstream.

The poll showed a continuing sharp decline in Newt Gingrich’s support, as the former House speaker finished a distant third at 13 percent. Only one month ago Gingrich led the field at 27 percent, but his decision not to counter the barrage of attack ads against him in Iowa seems to have sunk him for now.

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