With Herman Cain and Mitt Romney neck-and-neck in the influential Iowa Poll, the results could put more pressure on the survey leaders to spend more time campaigning there as the GOP presidential race intensifies.

Cain has surged to the top spot in the Iowa Poll, published by the Des Moines Register on Saturday night, and leads Romney 23% to 22%. That essentially mirrors what is going on nationally, with the former pizza executive edging the ex-Massachusetts governor in recent surveys.

The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Jan. 3 and neither candidate has spent much time there this year.

Romney “needs to come to Iowa and remind people he really wants to be president,” Steffen Schmidt, a political science professor at Iowa State University, told USA TODAY. “But I don’t think he needs to do what Cain has not done, and needs to do, which is organize a ground organization to get his supporters to convince people on caucus night.”

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