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Are GOP squabbles helping Obama?

Business Times - 12 Jan 2012


Are GOP squabbles helping Obama?

Republican candidates are fighting on social-cultural issues when the economy is on top of most American voters' agenda

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

WHILE the Republican presidential candidates in the United States have been blasting one another, things seem to be looking better than expected for President Barack Obama in recent days.

Last week's jobs report indicated that unemployment had dropped to 8.5 per cent in December, its lowest in three years. Nothing to celebrate about, but then any sign of improvement in the labour market may hint that the economic recovery is gaining momentum, raising the chances Mr Obama could be re-elected in November despite an expected strong challenge from the Republican candidate.

More importantly, the results of Tuesday's Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire suggest that it could take a long time for the party to select the man who will face Mr Obama.

There was …