DES MOINES – Amid a reshaped race, the Republican presidential candidates gathered in Des Moines tonight for a debate just over three weeks from the leadoff Iowa caucuses.
Political observers predicted former House speaker Newt Gingrich would be the center of attention since he pulled into the lead in three of four early voting states – including Iowa – after former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney long was seen as the frontrunner.
It was also the first debate since Atlanta businessman Herman Cain suspended his campaign following allegations of sexual harassment and marital infidelity.
“Political Intelligence’’ offered a live blog of the proceedings at Drake University.
The two-hour meeting was co-sponsored by ABC News, the Des Moines Register, Yahoo, WOI-TV, and the Iowa Republican Party. It was broadcast locally on WCVB-TV, Channel 5.
Also participating was Representative Ron Paul of Texas, Governor Rick Perry of Texas, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who has concentrated most of his attention on New Hampshire, did not meet the polling threshold to qualify for the event.
The Globe’s Matt Viser was providing spot coverage for boston.com, BostonGlobe.com, and the Boston Sunday Globe.
Check “Political Intelligence’’ again Sunday for my debate analysis.