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Romney wins Iowa, but with continued resistance

01-05-2012 14:26 BJT

CHICAGO, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney claimed victory at the Iowa caucus late Tuesday night, but his failure to capture a decisive majority vote shows a lingering resistance from many Republicans who have repeatedly looked for someone - almost anyone - else.

The exceedingly close caucus results set up an uncertain timetable for determining the Republican presidential nominee, as with only 24.6 percent of the vote Romney was not clearly illuminated in Iowa as the Republican favorite.

Highlighting important divisions within the Republican Party, over three-quarters of Iowa Republicans still favored someone else, and may indicate that Romney's nomination battle could drag on longer than his campaign would like.

Despite his position as default frontrunner, outside his familiar Northeastern territory Romney struggles to capture a strong majority of support. Since he announced his candidacy in June, Romney has rarely posted more than 25 percent in national polls.

But it seems Republicans are not as much bothered by the bleak picture for Romney as by seeing alternative Republican frontrunners fizzling out one after another.

This so-called "anybody but Romney" phenomenon seems to primarily be driven by traditional Republican stalwarts such as Newt Gingrich - who derisively refers to Romney as a "Massachusetts moderate" and doubts if he is conservative enough to represent the Republican party - and the social conservatives and religious interest groups who distrust Romney's switched positions on abortion and other social issues.


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