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Republican race gets wide open and more divisive

Business Times - 25 Jan 2012


Republican race gets wide open and more divisive

It's possible the nominee to challenge Obama won't be decided till Republican convention

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

FORMER Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has lost his earlier designation as his party's presumptive presidential nominee after his electoral defeat in the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina on Saturday.

His margin of defeat of about 14 per cent against Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, was quite devastating for him and came at the end of a week during which the former business executive seemed to be losing his political momentum.

First came the news that after a recount of the votes in the first Republican presidential contest this year, the caucuses in Iowa, Republican officials reversed their earlier estimate - that Mr Romney had come in first - and announced that former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum had won that race.

Th…