Top of the ballot: Iowa hearts Romney

Mitt Romney leads in Iowa, Jerry Brown accuses Meg Whitman of wanting to be president and of being a Nazi propagandist and Utah Senate candidate Tim Bridgewater picks up another endorsement.

Iowa's top three

There's still a long way to go before the next Iowa caucuses, but the field is already starting to take shape. Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are Hawkeye State Republicans' top picks for the 2012 GOP White House nod, according to the Des Moines Register's latest Iowa Poll.

The survey out Friday has 62 percent of Republican primary voters "very or mostly favorable" toward Romney. Palin's next with 58 percent "very or mostly favorable" about her and Gingrich is in third at 56 percent. Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 GOP caucuses, wasn't included in the survey because he said he doesn't plan to run again.

Meanwhile, conservative darling Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) is a relative unknown in Iowa — 80 percent said they don't know enough about him to have a favorable or unfavorable opinion. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is also a wild card: 71 percent say they're not sure how they feel toward him. And 53 percent are unsure about Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R).

Where will it go from here?

California's gubernatorial races have become famous for their outlandishness, and this cycle won't disappoint.

Brown, the Democratic nominee, told KCBS radio reporter Doug Sovern this week that his Republican oppponent was "like Goebbels" — Hitler's propaganda mister.

Brown: "Goebbels invented this kind of propaganda. He took control of the whole world. She wants to be president. That's her ambition, the first woman president. That's what this is all about."

The Whitman camp called the remarks "deeply offensive."

Bridgewater builds momentum

Bridgewater picked up the endorsement of former Senate rival Cherilyn Eagar (R) this week, adding to the sense of momentum he got from Sen. Bob Bennett's (R-Utah) backing.

Meanwhile, Mike Lee, Bridgewater's rival in the June 22 primary, released some internal poll results that show him up by nine points. The poll shows Lee leading Bridgewater 39-30 percent with 30 percent still undecided.