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Santorum guarantees victory in Pennsylvania

Rick Santorum on Monday guaranteed a victory in Pennsylvania, raising the stakes for the former senator in his home state ahead of the April 24 primary contest.

“Absolutely,” Santorum told Fox News when asked if he could guarantee a victory in the Keystone State. “We feel very comfortable that the people there in the Republican primary know us.”

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The primary calendar does not line up favorably for Santorum in April, and he will likely need a victory in the state he served for 12 years as a senator to remain viable in the GOP race.

Mitt Romney looks to be on the verge of sweeping Tuesday’s primaries in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin. With Romney already holding a more than two-to-one lead in delegates, and leading by double digits in most national polls, a loss by Santorum in his home state would be devastating.

But despite the guarantee, Santorum said a Pennsylvania victory would not come easily.


“It’s a tough state,” he continued. “There’s a large moderate wing of the party, particularly in the southeastern part of the state. We’ve upset the apple cart there in Pennsylvania; we were really the first Republican to break that stranglehold of the Republican Party, and we actually were part of the movement to change the Republican Party in Pennsylvania to a much more conservative party, and we’ve been successful winning elections doing that, but it’s not going to be easy.”

Santorum lost his Senate seat in 2006 by 18 points to Democrat Bob Casey Jr.

GOP strategists said a loss in Pennsylvania would be devastating for Santorum, and predicted the former senator might leave the GOP race if polls indicate Romney will beat him there.