WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has long relished a dragged-out Republican primary that would leave the eventual Republican nominee battered before the fall election.He might be getting his wish, a prospect that is firing up Democrats across the country.As GOP voting shifts to contests in the Midwest and West, Mitt Romney's chief rival, Newt Gingrich, is attacking him at every turn and pledging to stay in the race well into the spring.And Romney is paying a price for it: The former Massachusetts governor's negative perceptions among voters have climbed in recent weeks, a trend that could hurt him in a general election matchup with Obama.Obama's team calls the Florida primary a turning point and says the negative tone in the race could turn people off to politics altogether.

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