Romney Leading Santorum in Wisconsin

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Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Wisconsin is a heavily Catholic and evangelical state: a manufacturing and farming economy with tons of working-class voters. It's the kind of GOP electorate that Rick Santorum used to be able to count on. But, with a week until the Wisconsin primary, Mitt Romney has stolen a big, nine-point lead in a Marquette Law School poll. 

After wins in Ohio and Illinois, Mitt's benefiting from momentum — not to mention a huge spending advantage. Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC, has poured over $800,000 into Wisconsin advertising. But whatever the cause, seeing Santorum lose support within his traditional coalition might indicate that his insurgent, increasingly long-shot campaign can't count on its traditional base for a ticket to the convention. 

If there's any hope in the recent poll, it's with Wisconsin voters who named "strong moral character" as their most important presidential characteristic. They favor Santorum, 42 to 29 percent. But, as usual, Romney dominates among those concerned with defeating president Obama, 54 to 22 percent.