What We Learned Last Night
Mitt Romney sweeps primaries, but Rick Santorum not going anywhere
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2012 8:21 AM CDT
Mitt Romney thanks supporters after declaring victory in the Wisconsin presidential primary, Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at the Grain Exchange in Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney scored a hat trick, winning all three of yesterday's primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. CNN and Politico each offer five takeaways:

  • Wisconsin rejected Rick Santorum: It was Santorum's last shot at winning a Midwestern state, and he ignored Maryland in order to hit what CNN calls the "bowling alley-and-cheese curd circuit" in Wisconsin. It didn't work: His typical supporters, including evangelicals, tea partiers, and the "very conservative," voted for Romney anyway.
  • Even so, he's not going anywhere: Despite the fact that many seemed to believe a Wisconsin loss would mean the end for Santorum, he's still focused on denying Romney the magic number of 1,144 delegates—and, for the time being, he still has a path to do so.

  • All eyes are on Pennsylvania: Both Romney and Santorum have set the bar high for the April 24 primary in Santorum's home state. Romney knows that a loss in Pennsylvania could really spell doom for Santorum, so he's in the state today for two days of campaigning. Polls are tight, and some Romney supporters hope that Santorum will ultimately leave the race ahead of the primary if he thinks he won't win.
  • Endorsements are starting to make a difference: Romney's VIP supporters may have offered less-than-enthusiastic endorsements, but exit polls in Wisconsin show that more than 60% of Republicans—most of them Romney voters—were influenced by those endorsements.
  • Things are looking good for Scott Walker and Barack Obama: Wisconsin exit polls show that the governor has a lot of support as he faces a recall election in June. Meanwhile, in Maryland and DC, Obama scored enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination.
Click to hear from all the pundits who declared that it's over and Romney's the nominee after last night.