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Romney Hopes To Add To Great Lakes Winning Streak


It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene, good morning.

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have been fighting it out in Wisconsin for the past week. And tonight finally the results come in. Republicans will also cast votes today in Maryland and Washington, D.C. primaries, though the candidates have not spent a lot of time in those places. In all three contests, polls show Mitt Romney with a wide lead. But Rick Santorum continues to campaign as relentlessly as ever.

We have two reports now on the last full day of campaigning in Wisconsin, beginning with NPR's Ari Shapiro, who's traveling with the Romney campaign in Milwaukee.


So far 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 yesterday, he urged Wisconsin voters to help him continue the pattern tonight.

MITT ROMNEY: You're a boisterous group, you know that? This is a...


ROMNEY: ...a lot of energy in Milwaukee, I'll tell you. This is great.

SHAPIRO: He stood in front of red, white and blue oil barrels.

ROMNEY: I'm not sure what's in those barrels, but don't smoke in here. OK, guys?

SHAPIRO: Romney did not mention Rick Santorum or the other Republicans in the race. Instead, he delivered a relentless economic message, attacking President Obama on every front.

ROMNEY: His economic strategy was a bust. And one of the reasons we're going to take over the White House is because he does not know how to make this economy work. And we do.


SHAPIRO: Romney also talked about his wife Ann and their 42 years together, more than he typically does.

ROMNEY: She's a fighter. She has MS, has done a great job overcoming that, and also battled breast cancer successfully. She's a champion and she cares about people who have real challenges.

SHAPIRO: This could be part an effort to win over female voters. A new poll shows women overwhelmingly leaning towards President Obama in the general election.

Here in Wisconsin, the presidential primary is hardly the only political drama in town. The state has certified a recall effort against Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker.

Romney supporter Mary Beth Gahn says she's been dividing her efforts between the contests.

MARY BETH GAHN: Well, I'm voting for Romney on Tuesday. And then the recall for Scott Walker, that election is in June. So when this is done, I'll start making my Walker phone calls and start promoting the cause I believe in there too.

SHAPIRO: And by the time that's over, it should be just about time for the general election to start heating up.

Ari Shapiro, NPR News, traveling with the Romney campaign in Milwaukee. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.