Here's a number that terrifies front-runners and encourages also-rans at this stage of the Republican presidential race: Seventy-eight percent of Iowa caucus-goers say they haven't yet made up their minds. Even if they tell pollsters they support a candidate now, they freely admit they might switch to someone else later.

Pollsters have found similar results in New Hampshire, South Carolina and the states that follow in the GOP primary race.

Campaign strategists also know that November, December and January were times of extreme volatility in the 2008 and 2012 Republican primary contests. Both times, the leader going into November was not the leader who emerged in January. And that means almost everyone in the crowded GOP field is still alive, for now, at least. As long as a candidate has enough money for gas, a room at Motel 6 and a loyal aide or two, he can keep at it and hope for a breakthrough.

Still, some have a steeper path than others. At this point in the race, it looks like the "undercard" candidates, named for their exclusion from the prime-time GOP debates, are probably on a path to nowhere. George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal are very able men, but none has the prospect of getting much traction.

Seventy-eight percent of Iowa caucus-goers say they haven't yet made up their minds. Pollsters have found similar results in New Hampshire, South Carolina and the states that follow in the GOP primary race. (AP photo)

In addition, there are a few of the prime-time candidates, Rand Paul and John Kasich in particular, who don't seem to be getting traction either. So to be generous, say there are eight contenders left: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie.

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