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The Boston Globe

Nation

Rivals race to block Romney sweep

Ex-governor expected focus in pair of debates as Santorum draws crowds in 1st post-Iowa events

TILTON, N.H. - Mitt Romney served up plates of steaming spaghetti to voters last night as his campaign basked in new polls showing him sustaining his dominant position in the Granite State and jumping to a surprisingly large lead in South Carolina, where the second GOP primary will be held in two weeks.

But as Romney’s rivals prepared to focus their fire on him in critical back-to-back debates - the first of them tonight - the political phenomenon of the day was former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who stunned the field by running almost even with Romney in last week’s Iowa caucus and drew such large crowds at a series of events yesterday that fire marshals had to intervene several times.

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