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Obama and Romney make 'closing arguments' as candidates prepare for

It was Sunday morning, so they started with a prayer, along with a re-worked version of the hymn Amazing Grace by a country music band. In a way, that set the stage perfectly for the arrival of Mitt Romney, a candidate whose whose final hours on the campaign trail revolve around a big leap of faith.

Mitt Romney favourite to win in New Hampshire

Despite some last-minute gaffes, Mitt Romney remained the overwhelming favourite to win the New Hampshire presidential primary today, but the margin of victory could determine whether he quickly clinches the Republican nomination or faces a gruelling battle.

Las Vegas casino tycoon gambles $5m on backing for Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich, who is fighting to slow the momentum of Mitt Romney towards securing the Republican presidential nomination, received a big boost at the weekend as a Las Vegas casino tycoon pledged $5m (£3.2m) towards an independent group that is supporting his run.

Richard Wolffe: Mitt Romney's underwhelming performance does not fully

You can't blame Mitt Romney. It may be easy to be beastly to the unloved Republican presidential frontrunner. He may well look like "the guy who laid you off," as one former conservative rival quipped. He may well have spent the last four years and as many millions (with the help of anonymous supporters) going nowhere in Iowa: he gained almost exactly the same number of votes yesterday as he did in 2008.

Michele Bachmann quits presidential race

US Representative Michele Bachmann ended her campaign to become the 2012 Republican presidential nominee today and called on supporters to rally behind the party's eventual choice.

Rupert Cornwell: What counts now is cash – and Romney is winning

To paraphrase Winston Churchill's words about the battle of El Alamein and its place in the Second World War, this month of January does not signify the end of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, nor even necessarily the beginning of the end. But it is very much the end of the beginning.

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Santorum reflects on change in fortunes as his momentum builds

Across a wind-whipped Iowa, the runners in the Republican nomination race reached out for support one last time yesterday amid signs of continuing skittishness among voters who will gather in caucus meetings tonight to pick their favourite to take on Barack Obama in November's presidential election.

2012: Good year/Bad year

Not since the turn of the millennium has a single year promised so much: the Olympics, Euro 2012, a US election, an extra day off, and oh, the end of the world. Here, we assess the 12 winners and losers, and ask what the year holds... apart from Armageddon

Republican spotlight on Santorum

A late surge in the polls and a negative ad from one of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination has put Rick Santorum under the spotlight ahead of voting in the first primaries next week.