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JACK SIMPSON: Which candidate will rouse the GOP -- and earn your vote?

Recently Herman Cain decided to withdraw. He is now at peace with God, his wife, and she is at peace with him after allegations of misconduct with women. We watch as Mitt Romney and Rick Perry feud and as Perry doesn't seem to know the voting age.

Gingrich is on the rise and hoping to pick up more support from Cain followers. Newt is carrying a heap of personal baggage and has raised questions about amnesty for illegal immigrants and his acceptance of consulting fees from Freddie Mac.

Meanwhile, President Obama travels the campaign trail (is he ever in the White House?) raising money and smiling because his opponents are knocking each other from the race.

Once Obama seemed to be on the ropes, but not at present. No telling what his standing might be if Perry continues being tongue-tied and Romney keeps flipping and flopping. We expect closer examination of Newt's business dealings, his line of credit with Tiffany's and his military service. Reaching the top of the heap does bring more challenges.

Voters wonder, "Are Republicans imploding or inept?" Can't they offer a stronger slate of candidates at a time when the president seems vulnerable?

Will it end up being Newt, former philanderer, or Mitt, the flip-flopper? Either of these candidates could pose a challenge for president if only neither stumbles between now and election day.

Which of the candidates will rouse the party? A recent poll on the Internet listed candidates in this order: Gingrich, Romney, Paul, Bachmann, Cain, Perry, Santorum and Huntsman. This alignment is subject to constant change and could be far different at primary time.

Voters are expecting candidates to speak intelligently on the issues and present coherent policy arguments. Debates have exposed weaknesses in this regard. A few candidates have already botched their big chance in public appearances. Will they be able to recover?

We watch, wait, listen, learn and eventually will go to the polls to vote. Who will the nominee be? Your guess is as good as mine, but for sure it won't be Mr. Cain, since he has withdrawn from the race. At the moment, Gingrich tops the polls even without support from many who served with him. Republicans are divided, so is Romney's nomination inevitable?

Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.