With Romney in lead as NH polls open, focus on 2nd

By REUTERS
January 10, 2012 19:26

 
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MANCHESTER, NH - As polls opened for the Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire Tuesday, all eyes were on Mitt Romney, anticipating if he could win big enough to convince his party he is the best candidate to defeat Democrat Barack Obama.

Despite his rivals' fierce eleventh-hour attacks that he is a heartless corporate raider who enjoys cutting jobs, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts carried a sizable poll lead into voting day.

With nearly a 20-point edge in opinion polls, Romney's cushion was sufficient enough to force leading rivals Ron Paul, who appeals to New Hampshire's anti-government strain, and Jon Huntsman, who has campaigned almost exclusively in the state, into a battle to be a strong runner-up.

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