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GOP choice of experienced Romney, novice Perry

By Kasie Hunt

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Oct. 6 2011 1:06 a.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to supporters during a lunch stop at Seminole Wind restaurant Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Phil Sears, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The GOP presidential field apparently set, Republican primary voters are likely facing a choice between an experienced, establishment candidate in Mitt Romney and an insurgent presidential campaign novice in Rick Perry.

That's the dynamic that's emerging now that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have said they won't run.

Their decisions mean it's all but certain that the Republican nominee will come from the current crop of candidates despite earlier hunger within the party for more options.

The race now is focused on Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who has been shoring up support among long-time party leaders, and Perry, the Texas governor who has had a rocky few weeks that have stoked concerns about whether he's ready to take on President Barack Obama.

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