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As GOP contest drags on, Obama big winner

By Katherine Harbin (Xinhua)

08:15, February 09, 2012

CHICAGO, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Mitt Romney may continue to lead the Republican pack of presidential nominees, but as voters continue to resist his candidacy and fellow contenders vow to stay in the GOP race until late summer, one politician is beginning to rise above the rest: President Barack Obama.

Romney's Republican rivals continue to plead their presidential cases to the American public. Their efforts to garner support overwhelmingly come at the expense of attacking Romney - the man favored by the majority of analysts to ultimately win the Republican nomination.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum's victories in the all three Republican contests Tuesday gave a burst of life to his campaign that had struggled since its Iowa victory, showing that a significant percentage of Republicans still actively resist a potential Romney presidency and seek a conservative alternative.

Tuesday's results ensured that both Santorum and Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who also beat Romney in Tuesday's Minnesota Caucus, will be around to continue their anti-Romney pitches for at least the next round of nationally-televised debates and extensive media coverage.

And even in the face of overwhelming defeats in the last five state contests, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich also defiantly vowed to press onward, saying definitively Saturday that the Gingrich campaign would continue all the way up to the Republican Convention in August.

"I am not going to withdraw," Gingrich said after his defeat in Nevada, largely brushing aside the importance of the Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri contests and looking instead toward March's Super Tuesday and the Texas primary, where he said he expected to do well.

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