NPR : News

As Wisconsin Heads To Polls, Romney And Santorum Vie For Last-Minute Support

Play associated audio

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have been fighting it out in Wisconsin for the past week. And Tuesday night they'll see the results of their labors. Republicans will also cast votes Tuesday in Maryland and Washington, D.C., primaries, though the candidates have not spent much time there.

In all three contests, polls show Romney with a wide lead. Yet Santorum continues to campaign as relentlessly as ever. On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Ari Shapiro and David Welna filed reports from the trail.

Traveling with Romney in Milwaukee, Shapiro notes that Romney has been on a Great Lakes winning streak. He carried his birth state of Michigan, squeaked by in Ohio and buried his opponents in Illinois.

At an oil company in Milwaukee on Monday, he urged Wisconsin voters to help him continue the pattern. Shapiro reports that Romney did not mention Santorum or the other Republicans in the race and instead delivered a relentless economic message, attacking President Obama on every front.

Romney also talked about his wife, Ann, and their 42 years together more than he typically does, Shapiro notes. This could be part an effort, he says, to win over female voters. A new poll shows women overwhelmingly leaning toward President Obama in the general election.

Traveling with Santorum in Ripon, Wis., Monday, David Welna reports that Santorum addressed a crowd of several dozen supporters and urged them to take the day off to vote Tuesday.

"You have the opportunity to shock the world. Everybody expects that, with all the establishment and all of the media singing this song about 'well, this race is over, it's over, it's over.' Less than half the delegates have been voted for. We're not even at halftime in this race," Santorum said.

Yet as Welna reports, Santorum acknowledges that he has been outspent by Romney and that Wisconsin has been an uphill struggle:

"Santorum is telling his supporters that an expected low turnout in this open primary means each vote will count more today. He's gone bowling, eaten cheese curds and quaffed beer here to bolster his image of a regular guy, the kind rural and working class Wisconsinites can trust. Today's vote could be the most crucial test yet of his viability."

Santorum's national campaign manager, Michael Biundo, tells Welna that although polls show his candidate trailing Romney by seven to 10 points, "I think we're ... going to do well."

As Welna notes, however, Santorum isn't sticking around the state to find out. He's planning an election-night rally in his home state of Pennsylvania, girding for its primary on April 24.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Lisa Lucas Takes The Reins At The National Book Foundation

Lucas is the third executive director in the history of the foundation, which runs the National Book Awards. Her priority? Inclusivity: "Everyone is either a reader or a potential reader," she says.
NPR

The Shocking Truth About America's Ethanol Law: It Doesn't Matter (For Now)

Ted Cruz doesn't like the law that requires the use of ethanol in gasoline. So what would happen if it was abolished? The surprising answer: not much, probably.
WAMU 88.5

The Latest on the Military, Political and Humanitarian Crises in Syria

Russia continues airstrikes in Syria. Secretary Kerry meets with world leaders in an attempt to resolve the country’s five-year civil war. A panel joins Diane to discuss the latest on the military, political and humanitarian crises facing Syria.

NPR

Twitter Tries A New Kind Of Timeline By Predicting What May Interest You

Twitter has struggled to attract new users. Its latest effort at rejuvenation is a new kind of timeline that predicts which older posts you might not want to miss and displays them on top.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.