Romney: I'm going to get boost out of Iowa

Mitt Romney claims to be both well-positioned in Iowa, and prepared for the potential of a long and drawn-out campaign.

"I've seen polls in the past and I know it's very difficult to predict who will actually caucus in Iowa, but I think I'm getting a real strong sendoff," the former Massachusetts Governor told CBS News chief political correspondent Jan Crawford, just hours before Tuesday's crucial Iowa caucuses.

"I'm pretty encouraged. I don't know if I'll come in first, second or third. But I think I'm going to get a good boost coming out of Iowa."

The race has seen other candidates rise and fall, and throughout Romney has held steady.

Now he's facing a surge by Rick Santorum, who's been gaining votes with evangelical voters - just like Mike Huckabee in 2008.

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When asked if he were concerned by a Santorum surge, Romney replied, "Well, I'm happy Rick Santorum endorsed me in the last campaign, and he's worked hard in Iowa. I wouldn't be surprised to see him do very well."

Romney also is looking further down the road: "I think over the long haul - in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada - I'll be able to get the support I need to go on and get the nomination."

One former frontrunner, Newt Gingrich, has fallen in the polls, and is complaining about the negative ads against him. But Sunday he couldn't resist some negativity himself. At Marshalltown, Iowa, Gingrich said, "I feel Romney-boated" - a reference to the millions of dollars' worth of attack ads that have been run in Iowa paid for by Super PACs.

And then there was a shot at Romney in Council Bluffs, where Gingrich said, "He would buy an election if he could."

Gingrich: Romney wants to "buy election"

When asked his response to that, Romney laughed, then told Crawford: "I congratulate him. I understand he raised some $10 million in this last quarter. We're also working hard to raise the money that it takes to run an effective campaign. We wish him well.

"I think this campaign has not been decided by money. I think, so far, it has been driven by issues."

Full CBS News coverage: Mitt Romney

The poll released over the weekend was more good news for Romney - most surveyed think he is the most electable of the GOP contenders and the one to bring about real change.

But 41 percent of those likely Iowa voters say they still haven't made up their minds, and could change their mind, up until Tuesday night.