The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

MARS, Pa. (MCT) — The end of the Republican presidential contest was looming as Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum headed for campaign stops Wednesday in Pennsylvania.

A Romney victory on April 24 could be the culmination of a long and contentious primary war. Losing his home state would likely force Santorum to abandon an increasingly uphill attempt to carry the conflict all the way to the national convention in August. The most recent statewide polling gives Santorum and his supporters hope that the race will go on past Pennsylvania. A Quinnipiac University survey completed Sunday showed the former senator with a 6 percentage point lead over Romney.

Santorum has acknowledged that Pennsylvania is must-win for him. A defeat would effectively destroy his credibility as a presidential contender. But a victory could carry him to the final primaries in June, particularly because, as he alluded to Tuesday night, the May primaries are in states more favorable to a conservative candidate.

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