Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has opened up a convincing 7-point lead over Rick Santorum in Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary, a recent poll shows.
An NBC News-Marist poll shows Romney with 40 percent support from likely voters, followed by Santorum’s 33 percent. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich rake in 11 and 8 percent, respectively.
Wisconsin’s Tuesday primary is one of three on the day. Voters in Maryland and the District of Columbia will also be hitting polls, deciding which candidate will win their delegates in the race to 1,144.
With a sizable lead in Wisconsin, Romney has the potential to take the biggest prize of the day; Wisconsin’s 42 delegates. Romney is likely to sweep on Tuesday given that Santorum failed to make the ballot in the day’s two other contests. Maryland has 37 delegates up for grabs and the nation’s capital will hand out 19 to its winner.
A victory in Wisconsin and a sweep on Tuesday would add to the impressive additions Romney’s made to his presidential resume in the past week. The former Massachusetts governor managed to pick up the endorsements of President George H.W. Bush, his son, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.), who just saw his budget pass the House. Not only have these prominent conservative names endorsed Romney, but they’re urging their party to coalesce behind him as the eventual nominee.
Romney has a total of 568 delegates, followed by Santorum with 273. Gingrich and Paul round up the field with 135 and 50 delegates, respectively.