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Jul 18, 2011 3:47 PM by Matt Stafford

The politics of pledges

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican presidential contenders may be feeling nostalgic for the days of a single pledge: the oath of office.

This year, candidates are being asked - or pressured - to profess their fealty to a whole host of positions on marriage, taxes, the deficit, abortion and gay rights.

And these aren't just bland statements of support for broad ideals.

The pledges are roiling the White House race, boxing candidates in to positions that could hurt them in the general election. Or ones they might come to regret if ever seated in the Oval Office.

Some candidates welcome the pledges as an opportunity to strengthen their support among various voting blocs. But others are resisting pressure to adopt pledges that attempt to put words in their mouths.

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