MNGOP leadership throws support behind Romney

Minnesota's Republican vanguard is throwing its weight behind Mitt Romney's bid to be the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

Later today, House Speaker Kurt Zellers and House Majority Leader Matt Dean will reportedly headline a list of Romney's legislative backers.

Last week's polling indicates that Romney has only half as much support as Newt Gingrich among Minnesota Republicans. But since then, Romney solidly defeated Gingrich during the Florida primary. The Minnesota GOP caucus is coming up next Tuesday.

Zellers and Dean join follow former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Erik Paulsen, and former Senator Norm Coleman in coming out publicly in support of Romney. But perhaps the political endorsement of the House leadership should be taken with a grain of salt -- Zellers supported Pawlenty during his ill-fated run for the Republican normination, and Dean endorsed Michele Bachmann before her candidacy went up in a crazed ball of flames.

Last week's poll of Republicans indicated Rick Santorum has as much support in the state as Romney. Santorum recently debuted new ads attacking Romney and Gingrich here in Minnesota. Romney, meanwhile, was glitter-bombed during his Eagan appearance with T-Paw on Wednesday.

Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul are battling for what is a largely symbolic victory in Minnesota -- Minnesota's GOP caucus is non-binding, meaning that even in Gingrich wins, the state's delegates could still formally support Romney during the RNC this August in Tampa.

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