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  • By Ron Fournier
    National Journal

    MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. - In a rout, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney trounced Rick Perry and the rest of the GOP field to win the National Journal Hotline/National Association of Home Builders Straw Poll of GOP activists attending a weekend conference in Michigan.

    Romney received 51 percent of the 681 votes cast, a whopping 34-percentage point victory over second-place Perry, who garnered 17 percent. It was the second straight defeat for Perry in a straw poll, after he finished second in another contest Saturday in Florida. The twin disappointments, along with weak debate performances, have raised questions about whether the Texas governor will remain the perceived front-runner in the GOP nomination fight.

    Romney grew up in suburban Detroit and in the Michigan governor's mansion; his father, George Romney, served as the state's chief executive from 1963 to 1969. Michigan is likely to hold its presidential nomination contest on

    Read More »from Romney wins Michigan straw poll; second straight loss for Perry
  • By Beth Reinhard
    National Journal

    ORLANDO, Fla. — A three-day Florida presidential confab featuring a debate sponsored by Fox News, rallies with religious and conservative activists, and a straw poll run by the state Republican Party kicks off on Thursday night — with high stakes for the two front-runners.

    In the run-up to the debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have already been trading pointed barbs, with Romney casting Perry as an extremist on Social Security, and Perry questioning Romney's fidelity to the Republican Party.

    The backbiting on the eve of the Florida Republican Party's convention, dubbed Presidency 5, reflected the increasingly heated battle between the two leading contenders for the GOP nomination.

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    A good run by Perry in this critical battleground state could help grease his path to the nomination. He is favored to win South Carolina, the state expected to vote right before

    Read More »from Romney, Perry face high stakes in Florida
  • By Beth Reinhard and Alex Roarty
    National Journal

    Rick Perry has cost Mitt Romney his lead in the polls but made him a better candidate and, potentially, a more formidable nominee.

    The former Massachusetts governor, long disparaged as a fragile front-runner for the nomination, is showing a spark that seemed elusive when he topped the national polls. He delivered his second confident debate performance against Perry on Monday, raising more questions about the Texas governor's position on Social Security even as Perry tried to close out the discussion by vowing the benefits were "slam-dunk guaranteed'' for current recipients.

    In the most pivotal moment of the debate, Romney laid a trap for Perry by asking if he was going to "retreat'' from the idea that Social Security is an unconstitutional federal program that should be turned over to the states.

    It was as if Romney had waved a red flag in front of the typically hard-charging Perry, who balked instead of lunging forward. First he mocked

    Read More »from Rick Perry makes Mitt Romney a tougher contender

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  • Nadal back to best, Kyrgios wins five-set thriller
    Nadal back to best, Kyrgios wins five-set thriller

    Rafael Nadal looked back to his best after recent problems as exciting Australian youngster Nick Kyrgios won a memorable five-setter to reach the quarter-finals at the Australian Open on Sunday. Spain's world number three Nadal mastered big-serving South African Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena to set up a last eight showdown with Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych. It will be Nadal's eighth quarter-final appearance as he bids for his second Australian title after losing to Stan Wawrinka in last year's decider. Berdych was too strong for Australia's Bernard Tomic, winning in straight sets.

  • Golf-U.S. PGA Tour Humana Challenge scores

    Jan 25 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the U.S. PGA Tour Humana Challenge at the par-72 course on Saturday in La Quinta, California 199 Bill Haas (U.S.) 67 63 69 Justin Thomas (U.S.) 68 63 68 Michael Putnam (U.S.) 63 67 69 Erik Compton (U.S.) 66 66 67 200 Matt Kuchar (U.S.) 65 64 71 Ryan Palmer (U.S.) 71 61 68 Scott Pinckney (U.S.) 64 67 69 Steve Wheatcroft (U.S.) 65 67 68 202 Rory Sabbatini (South Africa) 71 68 63 Alex Cejka (Germany) 68 64 70 Nick Watney (U.S.) 67 64 71 Patrick Reed (U.S. ...

  • Soccer-La Liga results and standings

    Jan 25 (Infostrada Sports) - Results and standings from the La Liga matches on Sunday Sunday, January 25Athletic Club 1 Malaga 1 Deportivo Coruna 2 Granada CF 2 Espanyol 3 Almeria 0 Valencia 3 Sevilla 1 Saturday, January 24Atletico Madrid 3 Rayo Vallecano 1 Cordoba 1 Real Madrid 2 Elche 0 Barcelona 6 Real Sociedad 1 Eibar 0 Villarreal 1 Levante 0 Standings P W D L F A Pts 1 Real Madrid 19 16 0 3 64 16 48 2 Barcelona 20 15 2 3 54 9 47 3 Atletico Madrid 20 14 2 4 40 19 44 -------------------------4 Valencia 20 12 5 3 38 18 41 -------------------------5 Sevilla 19 12 3 4 31 20 39 6 Villarreal 20 ...

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