DES MOINES, Iowa — Regardless of whether Mitt Romney wins the Iowa Republican caucuses, he has enjoyed a remarkably easy presidential race so far.
When his rivals have stopped battering each other long enough to criticize him, they've often done so tentatively and ham-handedly. Romney's injury-free journey is all the more surprising because, despite some obvious campaign skills, he has well-known vulnerabilities ripe for attack.
The turn of events has astonished campaign pros in both parties, who expected Romney to be more bloodied. And it has dismayed President Barack Obama's allies, who assumed Republicans would at least soften up the man they viewed as the likeliest nominee from the start.
Romney began the campaign de-emphasizing Iowa. But his rivals' inability to produce a clear leader has opened a possible path for him to win.
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