Charles Dharapak, Associated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Mitt Romney's Republican rivals are intensifying their efforts to erode if not eliminate his standing as the man most likely to defeat President Barack Obama this fall.
They're often stressing their own prospects over his in the final few days before South Carolina's potentially decisive weekend primary.
The stepped-up challenge to Romney's electability comes in paid television advertising, campaign appearances and the first of two pre-primary debates. It appears aimed at one of Romney's principal strengths in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
Voters in both contests said they prized a candidate's ability to beat Obama over a candidate's conservative credentials, a preference that helped the former Massachusetts governor to his pair of victories.
- Pope in blistering critique of Vatican...
- NYPD: Cop ambush killer told passers-by to watch
- 9 films advance in Oscars shortlist for best...
- The Associated Press' top 10 movies of the year
- 'Hobbit' goes out on top with $90.6 million...
- 10 years on, where did all the tsunami debris...
- Spain hands out $3B in planet's biggest lottery
- 2 cops in New York City ambushed, fatally...
- Vermont governor abandons single-payer... 33
- Forget Santa Claus, Virginia. Was there... 19
- Police boss: NYC cops 'quite simply,... 17
- A post-election flurry: Obama tests his... 16
- Sony cancels 'The Interview' Dec. 25... 15
- NYPD: Cop ambush killer told passers-by... 13
- Utah mourners for Pakistani children... 8
- Obama declares 2014 'a breakthrough... 7