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Mitt Romney sings ‘On, Wisconsin’ toward next primary vote

Romney is whistling a happy tune going into Tuesday's major primary election in Wisconsin, and a string of upcoming primaries seems to favor him. Rick Santorum hopes to hang on until May, when voting swings back south.

By Staff writer / April 1, 2012

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan introduces Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as he addresses supporters at Lawrence University during a campaign stop in Appleton, Wisconsin, Friday. Wisconsin holds its GOP presidential primary election Tuesday.

Darren Hauck/Reuters

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Mitt Romney seems to be moving inexorably toward his party’s presidential nomination.

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Polls favor him going into Tuesday’s primary elections in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Most primary elections through April are likely to continue Romney’s momentum toward winning the required number of convention delegates. And Republican leaders in Congress (and elsewhere) say it’s time for the party to get behind the front-runner.

“I think he is an excellent candidate and the chances are overwhelming that he will be our nominee,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It seems to me we are in the final phases of wrapping up this nomination…. It is in the best interest of our party to get behind the person who is obviously going to be our nominee and make the case against the president of the United States.”

Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, Wisconsin’s largest newspaper, endorsed Romney as “by far the best choice for Republicans on Tuesday.”

But the newspaper endorsement was far from enthusiastic, describing the dwindling Republican field as “uninspired” – an opinion apparently held by many Republican voters along the trail of 2012 primary and caucus elections.

“We do wonder which Romney we'll see in the fall,” the editorial said. “Is it the Romney who favors a reasonable solution to the nation's broken health insurance system? Or – shake that Etch A Sketch – is it the Romney who blasts ‘Obamacare’? Is it the Romney who has a long history of working across the aisle with Democrats on a range of issues – the consummate, even-keeled manager who is good at running things? Or is it the Romney who can't help looking over his shoulder before making any decision to see if the tea party is brewing up a fight?”

In a way, such questions echo Rick Santorum’s main point about Romney: That he’s not a true conservative – “the same old, tired, establishment person” that GOP leaders are trying to “shove down our throat,” as he said Sunday

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