CNN and Fox both project that Mitt Romney will win Wisconsin. With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Romney has 42 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Rick Santorum. Romney will add eighteen statewide delegates to his tally and many of the remaining 24 delegates from congressional districts. Romney's campaign must hope that those delegates and the momentum from a Tuesday sweep will overwhelm Rick Santorum's motivation to continue.
Earlier tonight, Romney won Maryland and Washington, D.C.'s primaries, which moved him past the halfway mark for delegates required to secure the nomination.
But Santorum doesn't appear ready to bow out. "Who's ready to charge on to Pennsylvania for a strong second half?" he asked his supporters ahead of the Keystone State's primary on April 24.
Later Tuesday night, a relaxed, content Romney took aim at Obama in his victory speech. Romney blamed the incumbent and his administration's policies for lost jobs, high gas prices, and poverty, among other ills. He added, "Understand one extraordinary fact about this election: President Obama thinks he’s doing a job. I’m not kidding. He thinks he’s doing a great job.”
A more moderate option compared to Santorum, Romney has struggled throughout the race to attract evangelicals and voters identifying as "very conservative." According to CNN's and the Washington Post's data, Romney held his own today among those groups.
The Post's poll found in Maryland, where only a third of voters described themselves as evangelicals, Romney "ran even" with Santorum. Maryland voters desiring a "true conservative" overwhelmingly supported Santorum, but those voters were only four in ten, the vast majority choosing Romney, who was tabbed as the guy with the right experience and more likely to beat Obama.
Based on CNN's exit polling data in Wisconsin, 32 percent identified as very conservative. Of those, both 43 percent backed Romney and Santorum. Fifty-four percent of the "somewhat conservatives," comprising 28 percent of the respondents, chose Romney, compared with 36 percent for Santorum. Nearly 40 percent of poll respondents were evangelicals who narrowly favored Santorum 43 percent to 39 percent for Romney.
But Romney was focused on Obama, not Santorum, in his address after the Wisconsin results were announced.
“[Obama] spent the last four years laying the foundation for a new government-centered society,” Romney said. “I will spend the next four years rebuilding the foundation for an opportunity society led by free people and free enterprises.”
Out-of-touch liberals like Barack Obama say they want a strong economy, but they really don’t like businesses very much. But the economy is simply the product of all the nations’ businesses added together. So it’s like saying you love omelettes but don’t like eggs.
He didn't say a word about Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, or any other breakfast foods.