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GOP Debates in Simi Valley Today

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The eyes of the nation are turning to the Ronald Reagan Library today, where debates for the Republican front-runners will begin. This is the last debate opportunity for the GOP before "Super Tuesday" next week (LAist is throwing an Election Party to celebrate).

Pundits are now anointing John McCain as a front-runner thanks to his campaign success this week in Florida, with Mitt Romney cast in the role of his fiercest opponent. The question still on the minds of many, of course, is whether Rudy Giuliani will join in now that his fate in the primaries seems doomed. Most observers are predicting that he will announce his withdrawal from the race, as well as offering McCain an endorsement.

The Daily News is reporting on the significance of today's events:

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with the field of credible contenders reduced to two, the debate will be different than Thursday's in Boca Raton, Fla., according to Patrick James, the director of USC's Center for International Studies. "The number of people who will change their mind is declining," James said, adding that McCain will use the debate to tout his electability, James said. "For some time now, he's the only Republican who beats Clinton in a head-to-head matchup, because he picks up independents and he picks up moderate Democrats and Reagan Democrats," James said."He picks them up like candy."

And the Democrats? They're picking up the debate tomorrow in Hollywood. How...superstar!