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Analysis: Uncertain Week Ahead For Rick Santorum

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Rick Santorum campaigns in Wisconsin ahead of that state's primary election. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Rick Santorum campaigns in Wisconsin ahead of that state’s primary election. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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By Larry Kane

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hounded by Republican moderates and some conservatives, Rick Santorum is facing an uncertain week.

Tomorrow, voters decide in Maryland, Wisconsin and Washington D.C. At this point, Mitt Romney is ahead in Wisconsin and Maryland. Rick Santorum is not on the ballot in D.C.

So, the question is what happens if Santorum loses both Wisconsin and Maryland?

Here’s the scenario: There are no other primaries till April 24th — and Pennsylvania. The calendar is not friendly for Santorum until May.

kane larry tight Analysis: Uncertain Week Ahead For Rick Santorum

(KYW's Larry Kane.)

The chorus of Republican elected officials urging Rick Santorum to get out is turning into a herd. By Wednesday, it could get out of control.

Santorum will walk a fine line. Concerned about his future image in the party, while at the same time hoping he can hang in for Pennsylvania and the May primaries, in which he may do very well.

If Santorum thinks he can win in Pennsylvania, he might continue. But, if a loss is a possibility, that might stop him.

A key factor will be his standing in Pennsylvania. If he loses his home base and costs the Romney campaign three more weeks and a ton of ad money, his 2012 success could be marginalized.

Santorum has been extremely independent in this race, taunting the so-called establishment. The big question is whether he fears a party backlash if he stays in the race with no chance to win.

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