GAME OVER: The Tea Party Finally Loves Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney Paul RyanMitt Romney can smile. He’s winning over Tea Party voters.

Photo: AP

Mitt Romney is finally convincing the Republican base that he should be the party’s nominee against Barack Obama this fall.There are a few key stats that emerged from the Wisconsin exit polls that shows this race is coming to an end. 

Romney took most of the significant categories from his win Tuesday night. He beat Rick Santorum among men (by 5 per cent) and women (7 per cent). He at least tied across every age demographic. And he even fared well with lower-income voters, where Santorum has dominated in some of his wins. 

Romney won among Republicans by 13 points and Independents by 2 points.

Wisconsin exit polls

Photo: CNN

Let’s compare this to the exit polls of Ohio — which, believe it or not, was about a month ago. It was also the last non-South battleground state that was heavily contested. In Ohio, Romney struggled to a narrow victory among Republicans (4 points) and lost Independents to Santorum by 6 points. 

And here’s a telling stat: Romney won among voters who “strongly support” the Tea Party movement. And he tied among the “very conservative” bloc of voters, which would pretty much completely discredit Santorum’s lingering notion that he is the “conservative candidate.” 

Comparing again to Ohio, Santorum crushed Romney in the “very conservative” bloc by an astounding 18 points. Santorum also won the voters who “strongly support” the Tea Party movement by 9 points.

Wisconsin exit polls

Photo: CNN

And Romney continued to dominate in his talking point: electability. 60-seven per cent of voters who thought the candidate’s ability to defeat Obama was the most important quality flocked to Romney. Voters also trusted him most on the budget deficit (47 per cent) and the economy in general (48 per cent). 

Now the contest moves onto the next key battleground state: Pennsylvania. And the question there is whether Romney can continue these trends and give Santorum the full knockout punch in his home state. 

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