Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Saturday predicted a victory in Wisconsin’s upcoming primary contest.
“I have to tell you this,” Romney, the former Massachusetts governor said during a campaign stop at a phone bank in support of embattled Gov. Scott Walker (R).
“It feels better and better. The support for my campaign is growing stronger and stronger. This was an uphill battle for me if you look back three or four weeks ago, and now we’re looking like we’re going to win this thing on Tuesday. But I gotta have you guys get out and vote,” Romney said.
Reuters writes that a Romney victory in Wisconsin, combined with wins in Maryland and Washington, D.C., would widen his lead over Santorum in delegates for the nominating convention in Tampa in August and make it nearly impossible to catch the frontrunner.
The victory would leave Mr. Romney with not only a commanding lead in the race for delegates, but also with a claim to have fended off energetic challenges across a range of battleground states with a disciplined and well-financed campaign effort.
Mitt Romney scored several high-profile endorsements this past week, from former President George H. W. Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), says The Huff Post.
Romney and his aides continue to work behind the scenes to win support from respected voices in the party and prepare in earnest to take on Mr. Obama.
In recent days, Romney has taken aim repeatedly at President Barack Obama, and what he describes as the president’s “government-centered society” approach.
When asked by NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell what the impact of a victory in the Wisconsin primary, which will take place on Tuesday, would be, Romney replied, “all of us in the contest are focusing more and more on President Obama, as we should.”
“I think his failures are becoming more glaring to the American people,” Romney said. “He’s begun his national campaign from what I read, he’s making speeches that sound like the start of a campaign, and I think you’re seeing all four of us that are in the race still focusing on him.”
“I’ve got a ways to go before I get 1,144 delegates, so I’m not counting the delegates before they hatch. But I’m going to keep working very hard and hope I get a good strong send off from Wisconsin,” said Romney.
“I got a good boost from the folks in Illinois, and if I can get that boost also from Wisconsin, I think we’ll be on a path that will get me the nomination well before the convention. Sure hope so,” he added.
In the state-by-state battle to win the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination, Romney has an estimated 565 delegates, according to Real Clear Politics, followed by Santorum with 256, former U.S. House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich with 141 and congressman Ron Paul with 66.
However, whilr Newt Gingrich is stepping aside from the daily combat of the race,Rick Santorum remains the last real roadblock to Mr. Romney’s becoming the nominee.
Mr. Santorum is waging a tenacious battle in Wisconsin, bluntly reminding Republicans to send a message that the party needs a stronger conservative candidate than Mr. Romney, reports The New York Times.
On Saturday Mr. Santorum defiantly referred to a recent comment from a Romney adviser that he could win the delegate fight only through an “act of God,” saying, “I don’t know about you, but I believe in acts of God.”
The next big primary date, April 24, looms as increasingly important with six states to vote and Romney expected to win at least five of them.
Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania is the only question mark, and Romney aides made clear Romney plans an aggressive campaign there.