Thursday, June 30, 2011

GOP presidential race is beginning to sort itself out - latimes.com

Doyle McManus: GOP presidential race is beginning to sort itself out - latimes.com

A few weeks ago, the race for the Republican presidential nomination was a jumble of candidates, none of whom seemed to be winning the party's hearts or minds: Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich. For a moment, some GOP voters even pinned their hopes on pizza magnate Herman Cain, mostly because he didn't sound — or look — like the others.

But now, if you talk with Republican political professionals, the GOP race has suddenly settled into a contest among only two or three potential nominees.

There's Romney, still the front-runner, stolidly running a cautious and conventional campaign.

There's Michele Bachmann, the "tea party" insurgent, who jumped into the first tier with a crisp performance at the June 13 debate in New Hampshire.

And waiting in the wings, there's Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, who is considering a run for the White House.

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