Republican Presidential Race Will Continue to Drag On

Even if Romney wins big today, his rivals aren't going anywhere.

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Regardless of what happens in today's Arizona and Michigan primaries, Republican strategists predict that the GOP presidential race will drag on for many more weeks.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to win Arizona, and he is locked in a close race with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in Michigan.

But even if Romney wins both states today, there is little incentive for his rivals to drop out.

[See pictures of the 2012 GOP candidates.]

Santorum is expecting a strong showing in Ohio and other states on Super Tuesday, March 6, when 10 states hold nominating contests. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich believes he can win Georgia, his former home state, on Super Tuesday, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas argues that, even if he doesn't win a state outright, he will continue to pick up delegates and will be a force to be reckoned with at the Republican National Convention.

Romney remains the leader in delegates, fundraising, and organization, and his aides say he has the staying power to outlast his opponents.

The former governor has signaled that in the next round of primaries and caucuses, he will re-emphasize his main theme—that he would be best able to strengthen the economy because of his extensive business experience. On Tuesday, Romney attacked Santorum for failing to focus on the economy and spending too much time talking about divisive social issues. He told a rally in Rockford, Mich.: "It's time for him to really focus on the economy—and for you to all say, 'OK, if the economy's going to be the issue we focus on, who has the experience to actually get this economy going again?'"

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