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Republican presidential debate: Who won?

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Jae C. Hong/AP

(Read caption) Republican presidential candidates stand at the podium to answer questions during a debate at the Reagan Library Wednesday in Simi Valley, Calif.

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Republican presidential hopefuls had a lively debate last night at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney went at each other like heavyweights.

Ex-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman provided a sort of Greek chorus, providing occasional comment on the foibles of human nature and the GOP race.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas played the purist, explaining once again why he’s against federal regulation of pretty much everything.

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania were also there, and had their moments, but seemed less central to the action, given that organizers NBC and Politico placed them on the wings of the crowd.

We’ll get right to the important horse race question: Who won?

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