The main newspaper in Iowa has endorsed Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential race, less than three weeks before the state holds the first nominating contest for the 2012 election.
The Des Moines Register said Mr Romney stood out in the field of Republican candidates who want to stop the Democrat Barack Obama from winning a second term. "Mitt Romney is making his second bid for Iowans' support after an unsuccessful run in 2008," the newspaper said in an editorial yesterday. "We did not endorse him then, but this is a different field, and he has matured as a candidate. Rebuilding the economy is the nation's top priority, and Romney makes the best case among the Republicans that he could do that."
The newspaper said the former Massachusetts Governor possessed the qualities of wisdom, sobriety and judgement. Viewed early on as the likely front-runner, in the past months Mr Romney has played second fiddle in popularity to several of the other Republican candidates. But public opinion polls have shown that support for the latest frontrunner in Iowa, the former US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, seemed to be fading as Mr Romney's firmed.