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The Republican field is slowly coming into focus. South Dakota senator John Thune has announced that he will remain in the Senate, where he is seen as a potential future leader. Thune’s lack of a national profile and vanilla resumé would likely have hampered his bid.

Meanwhile, the fiery former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is preparing to announce his bid within two weeks, and may be the first official candidate for the Republican nomination. Gingrich is a dynamic but polarizing political figure. His opponents will have a great deal of personal and professional baggage to sift through in search for ammunition.

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