Romney Turns His Attention Towards Wisconsin

Mitt Romney has started to pay more attention to Wisconsin. He held his first tele-townhall for the Badger State yesterday where he came out in support of Governor Walker who is facing a recall election. From ABCNews:

At a Wisconsin voters’ tele-town hall Wednesday, Mitt Romney threw his support behind embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is facing a recall election after he orchestrated a  law that cuts public employees’ collective bargaining rights in the state.

“Governor Walker is, in my opinion, an excellent governor, and I believe that he is right to stand up for the citizens of Wisconsin, and to insist that those people who are working in the public sector unions have rights to effect their wages, but that these benefits and retiree benefits have fallen out of line with the capacity of the state to pay them, and so I support the governor in his effort to reign in the excesses that have permeated the public sector union and government negotiations over the years,” said Romney.

This was the first tele-town hall Romney has held with Wisconsin voters ahead of next week’s primary.

His campaign has also announce events in Appleton and Milwaukee tomorrow and Muskego on Saturday.

Why the sudden interest in the land of the cheeseheads? Wisconsin is holding their modified winner-take-all primary there next Tuesday. Whoever wins the primary wins 18 delegates outright. Twenty-four more will be allocated by Congressional district. These will also be WTA per district. So it is entirely possible for winner of the primary to walk away with 42 delegates free and clear.

Since Mitt paid attention to Guam and NMI this year (9 delegates each), it makes perfect sense for him to set his sights on Wisconsin and its nice cache of 42 delegates.

There is another reason, as well. Rick Santorum has hinted that Wisconsin is the key to the nomination fight. If he doesn’t win there, that hint could give him a face-saving reason to withdraw from an increasingly uphill battle. If he loses Wisconsin, can his home state of Pennsylvania be far behind? Polls suggest that it just might. So that gives Romney every reason in the world to finish off Santorum in the state next Tuesday.

Can he do it? Recent polls suggest he might. But remember, Wisconsin is an open primary. Democrats and Independents can vote in it. The Democrat base has been fired up for some time now in their fight against Walker and the GOP senators who passed the labor reform bill. They might decide to pull some shenanigans hoping to force the Republicans to keep fighting amongst themselves for as long as possible.

MSNBC said the following (emphasis added):

*** Santorum’s last chance (really, this is it): With Mitt Romney holding a sizable delegate lead and with more prominent Republicans (George H.W. Bush and Marco Rubio) formally endorsing the former Massachusetts governor, Tuesday’s GOP primary in Wisconsin is shaping up to be Rick Santorum’s last chance — in math and perception. If Romney wins Wisconsin, Santorum can’t stop him from getting to the magic number of 1,114 delegates, according to our math.

Well, we’ll have a new NBC/Marist poll on the race tomorrow morning that could answer that question.

So the Badger State could very well be Rick Santorum’s last stand.

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