Rick Santorum has ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, leaving Mitt Romney as the established GOP frontrunner.

Santorum made the announcement today in Pennsylvania - his home state - where he was preparing for an upcoming primary showdown;  Although behind in the to-date delegate count, his campaign held hope that successive wins over the next month would improve his standing.

In the end, it was family issues that made him pull out of the race;  Santorum's daughter Bella was in the hospital over the weekend with complications from the genetic condition Trisomy 18.

Santorum's departure leaves Romney the undisputed frontrunner - although Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul continue their campaigns;  Neither Gingrich or Paul have the delegate count to pull off an eventual win.

This sets up the battle between Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Barack Obama.

 

 

Rick Santorum ends bid for GOP nomination - Political Hotsheet - CBS News.