GOP contenders face 13-state test after brief lull

By David Espo

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Feb. 18 2012 6:20 a.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, speaks to supporters at the University of Idaho Commons, Student Ballroom, Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 in Moscow, Idaho.

Matt Mills McKnight, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A resurgent Rick Santorum hopes to spring his next big surprise in Michigan. Newt Gingrich looks for a campaign revival in the Bible Belt. Mitt Romney has his home state of Massachusetts, and the luxury of picking his spots elsewhere, if not everywhere.

After a brief midwinter lull, the GOP presidential race is roaring back to life.

The Republican field faces a cross-country series of nine primaries and four caucuses between Feb. 28 and Super Tuesday on March 6. At stake are 518 delegates, more than three times the number awarded so far in the unpredictable competition to pick a GOP opponent for President Barack Obama.

A debate on Feb. 22 in Arizona, the first in three weeks and possibly the last of the GOP campaign, adds to the uncertainty.

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