Romney Looks to Shut Door for Good on Santorum
He leads in Wisconsin as coverage tilts his way
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2012 1:42 PM CDT
Mitt Romney, speaks to an audience at a meeting of the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Coalition during a campaign stop in Pewaukee, Wis., Saturday.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney has been declared the "presumptive nominee" time and again in this race, but the coverage heading into Tuesday's primary in Wisconsin suggests this time, really and truly, it's the real deal. It helps that Romney leads in the polls and has racked up high-level endorsements this week. Some samples:

  • Christian Science Monitor: "The Republican presidential contest seems to have come down to a two-man race, and we’re not talking about Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum," the story says. It's all about Romney and President Obama now, and Romney has clearly shifted his focus in speeches to the November election instead of the primary.
  • New York Times: A win Tuesday "would effectively close out the first phase of the primary season." Team Romney, meanwhile, is quietly putting into place "well-seasoned advisers" for the general election and ramping up state operations nationwide. It will also begin fund-raising for the Obama showdown soon.

  • Washington Post: It gives prominent play online today to sussing out Romney VP candidates. (The story has Ohio Sen. Rob Portman as a possibility, along with the usual suspects of Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley, Bob McDonnell, etc.)
  • Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard: Kristol still isn't quite ready to anoint Romney as nominee, but he sounds pretty convinced as he advises him to "lift his general election campaign above the level of the primary contest." It's not enough to denounce Obama: Romney must explain why he's the right choice. "We trust, for the sake of the country, that he’ll be tough and determined and self-critical enough to do the job."

 

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