Santorum, Paul look past Nevada caucuses

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“This isn’t a state where someone has a natural advantage,” Santorum said in Montrose, before flying on to events in Loveland and Greeley. “No one can stake a claim and say, ‘He’s going to win this state.’ This is a wide-open race and you have an opportunity to reset this race.”

Santorum has vowed to continue his race until the Republicans meet in Tampa for their nominating contest, and Paul has shown no interest in shutting down his libertarian-leaning campaign that still draws enthusiastic crowds of fervent supporters.

Romney and Gingrich, meanwhile, were fighting in Nevada for the first contest in the West. The tone of the campaign had turned caustic in recent days, all the while Santorum built giant crowds. He spent Friday in Missouri, which has also has a primary Tuesday that lacks Gingrich’s name on the ballot and does not award delegates.

Santorum also sought to undercut Romney’s argument he is most electable because he has the most money and strongest organization. Santorum, who raised $1 million online in recent days, said no one will be able to go tit-for-tat with President Barack Obama.

“Folks, he’s not going to have the most money in the general election,” he said. “Barack Obama’s going to have more money. …. (Romney) is going to be outspent badly. Any Republican will be.”

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Bakst reported from Rochester, Minn. Associated Press writer Beth Fouhy in Nevada contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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