The presidential race will be volatile for the next few months as President Obama and Republican front-runner Mitt Romney rise and fall in the polls, but over time the contrast between the two men and their policies will benefit Romney, Republican strategists predict.
Party officials say that the GOP presidential primaries have kept the country from focusing fully on President Obama and his failures, especially when it comes to the economy. Instead, the intra-party debate has emphasized the Republican candidates' attacks on each other.
"There's a big difference between a one-on-one race and a one-on-six race," says Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer, referring to the number of major GOP contenders who were once in the competition for the party's presidential nomination. Spicer argues that the contrasts will grow sharper and will work to the GOP's advantage once the Republicans settle on their nominee.
There are only three serious candidates left in the Republican presidential contest—Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
Romney is so far ahead in nominating delegates, in states won, and in fund-raising that he is considered the presumptive GOP standard-bearer.