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Romney, Santorum tight in Wis. primary

Romney, Santorum tight in Wis. primary

MILWAUKEE, April 3 (UPI) —
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum faced a close race in the Wisconsin Republican primary Tuesday, while Romney was favored in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

He trailed Romney by several percentage points in most polls in the Badger State.

He urged “rural Wisconsin” to turn out in force for him.

He finished his Wisconsin campaign with a stop in Ripon, a central Wisconsin city of 7,700, where he toured the Little White School House — a preserved one-room schoolhouse where the Republican Party was formed in 1854 after the Whig and Free Soil parties dissolved themselves in favor of a new, united party.

Romney didn’t mention any of his GOP challengers, instead accusing Obama of not keeping promises made about reducing the national debt and boosting the economy.

He said Obama has not moved forward on immigration reform, despite having majorities in Congress for his first two years in office.

Romney’s campaign says it hopes the former Massachusetts governor will sweep Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and move closer to becoming the GOP’s presumptive nominee.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas remained in the race. Santorum did not seek to appear on the D.C. ballot.

Polls in Maryland and Washington close at 8 p.m. EDT. Polls in Wisconsin close an hour later, at 8 p.m. CDT.

Wisconsin has 42 delegates at stake, Maryland has 37 and the District of Columbia has 19.

Romney leads with an estimated 568 to 571 delegates to Santorum’s 273 or 274.

A hopeful needs 1,144 delegates to clinch the nomination.

A Wisconsin law requiring people to show photo ID before being allowed to vote was pending review by the state Supreme Court. Two lower court judges last month declared portions of it unconstitutional.

The law’s opponents say it will disenfranchise minority groups, the poor, students and senior citizens who may not have photo identification. Supporters say it’s needed to stop voter fraud.

A state appeals court sent the two lawsuits to the Supreme Court Wednesday, saying the cases raise legal issues that affect the essential state functions. Four of the court’s seven justices must agree to accept the cases.

Wisconsin will hold recall elections against Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republicans May 8 and June 5.

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