There are three new polls of Iowa out today which mostly confirm the impression that Paul and Romney are battling for first place while Rick Santorum may be on the verge of breaking away from the other putative “true conservative” candidates, Gingrich, Perry and Bachmann. But with so many candidates bunched so closely together, almost anything could happen.

The only two-day poll in the batch, from NBC/Marist, has Romney at 23%, Paul at 21%, Santorum at 15%, Perry at 14%, Gingrich at 13%, and Bachmann at 6%.

Rasmussen’s results are very similar: Romney 23, Paul 22, Santorum 16, Perry and Gingrich 13, and Bachmann 5.

Insider Advantage, as is often the case, shows things a bit differently, with Romney, Paul and Gingrich tied at 17%, Santorum at 13%, Bachmann at 12%, and Perry at 11%. IA should be praised for publishing a few crosstabs, but they do have some odd numbers, such as Bachmann running ahead of Paul among 18-29 year olds.

In any event, these polls will feed the media beast until the big mamba-jamba, the Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, comes out on Saturday night.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.