At least $12.5 million in ads have blanketed Iowa's airwaves ahead of Tuesday's Republican presidential caucuses, with hard-hitting spots awash in ghoulish images and startling claims. Most are coming from a proliferation of new independent groups aligned with the candidates.

To hear the ads tell it, Newt Gingrich is a "serial hypocrite," Rick Perry "double dips" as governor and the "liberal Republican establishment" is plotting to anoint Mitt Romney as the party's presidential nominee. The attacks make up the bulk of the commercials on the air and reflect the volatile state of the race five days before the first votes of the GOP presidential nominating contest are cast.

The ads are coming on fast and furious after a slow start. Four new ones were rolled out on Thursday alone.

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