(NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa) — Reacting Wednesday night for the first time to the latest Iowa poll numbers that show him leading the pack of GOP candidates in the Hawkeye State, Mitt Romney remained coy about his frontrunner status, saying only that the numbers are “more encouraging than some.”
“There’s so many polls,” said Romney, as he shook hands with a line of voters that snaked around the perimeter of the plastic manufacturer where he held a town hall Wednesday evening. “I look at all the polls.”
Asked specifically about his lead in Wednesday’s CNN poll, which has him five points ahead of Ron Paul, Romney spoke to the frequent fluctuations inherent in polls.
“Some have me down by five, some have me up, who knows?” he said, shrugging.
“We’re moving upward, though,” he said. “That’s a good sign.”
The poll numbers came out just before Romney’s third and final event on the first day of his three-day bus tour through Iowa.
The day drew the largest crowds to date for Romney in the state, with more than 500 estimated at the North Liberty town hall alone.
At a meet-and-greet with voters earlier in the afternoon in Clinton, Romney was forced to speak twice to avoid disappointing voters who had been turned away from the event because it was at capacity.
Bounding off his campaign bus, his wife Ann by his side, Romney himself seemed surprised by the outpouring of support.
“They’ve been impressive. Absolutely extraordinary,” Romney said of the crowds.
But unwilling to get too comfortable in the few days left before the caucus, Romney reminded voters throughout the day that turnout, after all, is what wins elections.
Running up to a table of diners at an Italian restaurant, Romney paused, braced himself on the end of the table, and declared, “I’m running for president so if you get a chance to caucus, remember the name, Mitt Romney. Thank you!”
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com
Eric Bradner, Dana Bash and MJ Lee, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News