By Dan Sewell-Associated Press
WEST CHESTER, Ohio â€” For â€œAnybody butRomneyâ€ Republicans in a key conservative region of Ohio,Â Newt GingrichÂ has been picking up support as an alternative to the former Massachusetts governor.
The former House speaker has moved to the top in recent polling in Ohio, just as Republican presidential candidates prepare for the Jan. 3 caucuses in Iowa, followed closely by the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.
Ohioâ€™s presidential primary is scheduled for March 6, one of the biggest prizes for Republicans among about a dozen states voting on â€œSuper Tuesday.â€
Former MassachusettsÂ Gov. Mitt RomneyÂ hasnâ€™t excited some of the partyâ€™s staunchest conservatives for reasons that include his past pro-choice stance and his enactment of a Massachusetts health-care plan thatâ€™s often compared to PresidentÂ Obamaâ€™s new national law.
Some conservatives had flirted with supportingÂ Herman Cain, drawn to his business background and unconventional campaign style. ButÂ Mr. Cainsuspended his campaign this month following accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior and a longtime extramarital affair.Â Mr. Cainâ€™s decision andMr. Gingrichâ€™s performance in nationally televised debates helped some make up their minds.
â€œHeâ€™s sold me,â€ saidÂ Dan Keith, 61, of Hamilton.Â KeithÂ and his wife,Â Pat, said they are convinced thatÂ Mr. GingrichÂ has the experience and savvy to be strong againstÂ Mr. Obama. â€œI canâ€™t see anybody else coming onto the scene that we would go to.â€
The Keiths said they were undecided when first interviewed three months ago.
â€œI think before, people liked the other candidates because they were an alternative toÂ Romney. But Iâ€™m hearing more people who likeÂ GingrichÂ asÂ Gingrich,â€ saidÂ Bill Langdon, co-owner of theÂ Grand Ole Pub, a popular gathering spot for Republican partisans in West Chester.
To read more, visit:Â http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/26/gingrich-picks-up-support-in-ohio/
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