US Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul declared last night his campaign was "peaking at the right time" as polls show him closing in on the two perceived front-runners.
The libertarian congressman from Texas with a passionate core of followers complained pundits were dismissing his longshot campaign prematurely and sounded optimistic about catching former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former US House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich.
All three are seeking to represent the Republicans and unseat Democratic President Barack Obama next November. The first of a series of Republican nominating contests is set for January 3 in Iowa.
Polls on Tuesday showed him just one percentage point behind Mr Gingrich for the lead in Iowa.