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Of all the metaphors used to describe the tumultuous lead-up to the 2012 Republican primaries, and the concomitant rubbernecking it has caused in the press—spin cycle, merry-go-round, rat race, sideshow, etc.—Bloomberg Businessweek believes the most apt is that grandest of carnival attractions: the roller coaster. Indeed, nothing else quite captures the vertiginous highs and precipitous lows of the four candidates who have, in turn, robbed the presumed favorite, Mitt Romney, of the top spot: Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich. The last is riding high in the polls, but if this political season has proved anything, it’s the law of gravity.