Ari Shapiro

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Let's assess where the presidential race now stands. Mitt Romney made it through last night with three wins and no surprises, in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

MONTAGNE: Rick Santorum won nowhere but isn't giving up. In a moment we'll ask NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson how much longer this race can go on.

Until recently, "Obamacare" was a word mostly used by opponents of President Obama's health care law. Now, supporters of the law are attempting to claim it as their own.

During the three days of health care hearings, protesters outside of the Supreme Court in favor of the law returned to one chant more than any other: "We love Obamacare."

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ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: The three-day marathon at the U.S. Supreme Court continues today. The court will hold its second day of hearings on President Obama's health care law. Today, the lawyers and justices will spar over whether the individual mandate is constitutional. That's a requirement that everyone carry health insurance, and it's a central tenant of the law.

An Army staff sergeant's alleged massacre of Afghan civilians has brought new calls for the United States to leave Afghanistan even before the timetable set by President Obama, who has announced that the U.S. combat mission will be over by the end of 2014.

Some Republican presidential candidates are among those publicly asking if now is the time for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan.

But not Mitt Romney.

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For once, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has met or even exceeded the expectations that were set for him. When he won the big Midwestern states of Michigan and Ohio, the margins were narrow enough and analysts were not impressed - given his huge advantage in money and organization. But in Illinois last night, even Romney's closest rival, Rick Santorum, did not come within 10 points.

There was a big movie premier Thursday — big in the political world, anyway. This movie is actually an ad of sorts, designed in hopes that it will go viral and help President Obama's re-election prospects.

Every good political campaign has a motif, from President Obama's "hope" to John McCain's "maverick."

Mitt Romney's brand is still taking shape, yet one word finds its way into nearly every speech he gives.

"I want to restore America to our founding principles," the former Massachusetts governor said in Iowa.

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Mitt Romney is on the road again, this time in the deep South. He's campaigning today in Mississippi and Alabama, both states that hold primaries next Tuesday. NPR's Ari Shapiro was at a Romney rally at a port on the Gulf of Mexico.

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It was the biggest day yet in the Republican presidential race. Mitt Romney hoped that Super Tuesday would reinforce his frontrunner status. And to some degree it did. He won six of the 10 states, including the most populous and hotly contested state, Ohio.

In a final burst of campaigning in Michigan Tuesday, embattled GOP front-runner Mitt Romney complained that rival Rick Santorum was making automated phone calls to Democrats and urging them to vote against Romney in the Republican race. (Although only declared Republicans can vote in the party primary, voters can change their affiliation to cast a ballot.)

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Along with Arizona, Michigan holds its Republican presidential primary Tuesday. If Rick Santorum beats native son Mitt Romney in Michigan, it could throw the race into turmoil.

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The Republican race for president heads to Michigan and Arizona this week. Both states hold primaries on Tuesday. Former Governor Mitt Romney was in Michigan yesterday, his campaign bus logging more than 250 miles across the state. He's fighting the recent surge of former Senator Rick Santorum.

Romney held three events in three towns - Lansing, Troy and Flint - and NPR's Ari Shapiro was with him at all three stops.

Mitt Romney is on a bus tour across Michigan, hoping to win the votes of the state where he grew up. With primary day on Tuesday, Romney seems to have closed the gap in polls with Rick Santorum.

This trip has the feel of those early days campaigning back in New Hampshire, before any votes were actually cast: the long bus rides, the snowy landscape, even the impromptu restaurant drop-ins.

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