Ron Paul will be spending the New Year's holiday at home in Texas, raising eyebrows in Iowa where recent polls show the congressman within striking distance of a win in next Tuesday's caucus.

The presidential hopeful was asked by PBS's Judy Woodruff if he felt so confident about his position in the polls that he could afford to take the day off.

“No, I would never say that,” Paul said, smiling.

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But taking time off from the campaign trail just before the caucus is a significant gamble for Paul, especially since his candidacy is heavily reliant on a motivated base turning out in large numbers.

The decision also comes after a rocky holiday week for the Texas congressman. Paul was repeatedly pressed with questions about newsletters published in the 1980s and 1990s under his name that contained racist and homophobic statements. While he has denied knowledge of the articles and said that he disavowed their content, the issue has dominated the past week on the campaign trail.

Paul's last scheduled campaign event is a town-hall meeting in Souix City, Iowa, Friday night.

An NBC poll released Friday showed the Texas congressman at 21 percent, trailing Mitt Romney by two percentage points.