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Primary battle could cost Santorum the war

Far-right stances fuel primary surge but could alienate independents in fall

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. - Three years before Rick Santorum decided to seek the Republican presidential nomination, he laid out his vision for America. “This is not a political war at all,’’ he said. “This is not a cultural war. This is a spiritual war.’’

But now, as Santorum is in the political war of his life heading into pivotal primaries on Tuesday in Michigan and Arizona, it is his standing as a cultural and religious warrior that could help give him the GOP nomination - but which some observers believe could doom his chances with crucial independents in a general election fight.

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