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Live Blog: Republican Debate In Florida

Filed by KOSU News in Politics.
January 23, 2012

Two days after the Republican presidential campaign was turned on its head by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s decisive victory in South Carolina’s primary, the candidates are back on a debate stage tonight. The setting is Tampa Bay, Fla.

The campaign’s next big contest is in the Sunshine State: Republicans hold their primary there on Jan. 31; one week from Tuesday. Tonight’s debate is hosted by NBC News, The National Journal and the Tampa Bay Times. The contenders: Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

We’re live blogging and plan to again Thursday, when there’s another debate. Along the way you’ll see some ALERTs. That stands for “A Line Everybody [will] Remember Tomorrow.” We’ll use them to flag what we think are the “talkers.” Hit your refresh button to get our latest updates.

Update at 8:55 p.m. ET. As For Rep. Michele Bachmann:

The onetime GOP contender just tweeted her supporters, suggesting they watch her latest video. It’s her address to the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life’s Rally for Life.

Update at 8:50 p.m. ET. Ten Minutes To Go.

Update at 8:30 p.m. ET. Romney “Searches For ‘Debate Moment’ “:

In its preview, Politico writes that “key debate moments have not been Romney’s calling card.”

Update at 8:20 p.m. ET. Will They Be As Harsh Face-To-Face?

Earlier today, Romney said Gingrich has been “highly erratic” over the years. Gingrich said Romney has been tossing around “desperate baloney.” If they follow through with such words on stage, things could get hot.

Update at 8:15 p.m. ET. As We Wait, A Look At The Latest Polls:

As Frank reported earlier, a new national poll of Republicans from Gallup has Gingrich and Romney essentially tied. And Gingrich has polled ahead in two polls of Republicans in Florida.

Update at 8:10 p.m. ET. Where To Submit A Question:

National Journal, one of the debate’s co-sponsors, is inviting questions on its Facebook page and says some might be asked on the air.

From our original post at 7:55 p.m. ET:

Debates were crucial to the outcome in South Carolina. Will that happen again? Join us as we follow along.key debate moments have not been Romney’s calling card. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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