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Santorum, Paul campaign out West, not Florida

On the eve of Florida's GOP primary, the two Republicans skip the Sunshine State.

Clone of Mitt romney debate new hampshire ron paul rick santorumEnlarge
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), at the Republican Presidential Debate debate at Saint Anselm College January 7, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Win McNamee/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Ron Paul campaigned in the West, ignoring Florida on the eve of that state's GOP primary.

They are trailing behind GOP front runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in Florida polls.

Santorum and Paul were likely to lose in the Sunshine State and were said to be focusing on upcoming caucuses in Nevada and Colorado, the Associated Press reported.

Colorado holds its caucus on Feb. 7, and Nevada on Saturday.

"No matter what happens in Florida, this race is wide open," Santorum told the AP outside of Denver, Colorado. "We plan on being in this campaign for a while."

Both candidates have pledged to stay in the race for the long haul.

More from GlobalPost: With relief, Florida votes

According to the Wall Street Journal, Santorum is focusing on raising money in the Western states, where he hopes his conservative message will play well.

The WSJ quoted an email from Santorum that read: “Campaigns cost a lot of money, and it’s only with your support that we will be able to build on this continued momentum.”

Santorum was back “in full campaign mode ” after he temporarily left the campaign trail when his three-year-old daughter, Isabella, was hospitalized with pneumonia. The girl has a genetic disorder known as Trisomy 18.

Paul made a stop in Fort Collins, Colorado on Tuesday where he spoke to more than 1,000 supporters saying "We need to keep America safe, but not to be the policeman of the world."

In an interview with the Atlantic.com, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said he thought his father still had a shot at the Republican nomination but "he's got to start winning some primaries.'"

The elder Paul will spend the evening outside Las Vegas, Nevada as returns come in from the Florida primary, the New York Times reported.

More from GlobalPost: Florida primary, Anger in the Sunshine State

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120131/santorum-paul-campaign-out-west-not-florida