Grassley: 'I Don't Think There Will Be a Clear Winner in Iowa'

By Terence P. Jeffrey | December 31, 2011 | 11:16 AM EST

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts at a Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

( - Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, who has not endorsed any candidate for president, said in an appearance on MSNBC on Friday that he does not believe there will be a clear winner in this year’s Iowa caucuses.

“Is the job of Iowa Republicans Tuesday night to pick a president or winnow the field?’ MSNBC’s Chuck Todd asked Grassley.

“Probably if Mitt Romney's the winner, we're picking a president,” said Grassley. “If there's not a clear winner--and I don't think there will be a clear winner--we're winnowing the field.”

Asked about the Iowa campaign of his former Senate colleague Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Grassley said that Santorum had built a better “ground game” than the other candidates.

“How has he conducted himself in this caucus?” Todd asked. “And do you think he's done it the right way, better than others as far as campaigning?”

“From the standpoint of most, in most caucus years, ground game is who wins,” said Grassley. “He's done it better than anybody else has done it.

“From the standpoint of his rise in the last two or three days or week or so,” said Grassley. “I think it's directly attributable to his having a constant message that's been well balanced between social conservativism, economic conservativism, and about the only one bringing foreign policy into this issue on a regular basis. Plus his hard work, I think, is the reason he has risen so rapidly.”

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