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Our View: Attention paid to Democrats good for Republicans?
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It is easy to understand why the Democratic presidential campaign is garnering so much more national attention than the Republican Party's.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are political rock stars. For very different reasons, they are mesmerizing and polarizing public figures. Clinton is making a serious bid to be the first woman president in the United States, Obama the first black president.

Meanwhile, the Republican campaign has yet to see a candidate harness the kind of support and attention Obama and Clinton have. Mike Huckabee, John McCain and Mitt Romney each have won a political contest, but none has vaulted into prominence. Rudy Giuliani thus far has been nearly invisible on the campaign, but figures to make his push when larger states begin to vote Feb. 5.

But worry not, Republicans. The national attention gap may just end up helping the GOP come the general election. Why?

Because whomever emerges as the Democratic Party nominee is likely to be severely battered and bruised politically.

As evidenced by the racially-tinged disputes between the Obama and Clinton camps this past week leading into next week's South Carolina primary, the front-runners' campaigns have taken the gloves off. It's a bare-knuckled brawl now.

No one should be thinking of Obama as the new Martin Luther King Jr., Clinton has said. Clinton, meanwhile, has been criticized for saying King's dream of racial equality was realized only when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.

Winning the black vote is critical to winning the Democratic Party nomination. And after Clinton stole Obama's momentum from Iowa with a win in New Hampshire last week, the Democratic Party race is likely to be long and extremely close. Which means lot of political punches are likely to be thrown.

It's not that the Republican Party campaign hasn't been nasty, already, too. Huckabee, Romney and McCain have exchanged barbs in the past few weeks. It's just that the nation simply isn't paying as much attention.

Whomever emerges from the Republican Party nomination process might do so without taking the political hits that the Democratic candidate does. And in a relatively short election season between the party conventions and the Nov. 4 elections, the strength of a candidate coming into that stretch can be key.

Clinton and Obama would be wise to stem the tide of negative campaigning that seems to be on the rise. Republicans should hope that they don't.