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Wisconsin GOP primary tests party's 2012 momentum

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin voters are just warming up.

The national political spotlight promises to be hotter than normal this year in the state.

Energized Republicans sense opportunities they haven't seen in a generation to complete a turnaround.

They see the chance to turn back a national effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker in a June election stemming from the first-term Republican's aggressive effort to strip public employee unions of power.

And they see the chance to pick a strong U.S. Senate nominee in August whose victory in November would give Wisconsin two GOP seats for the first time since 1957.

Ultimately, they see this sequence of votes, starting this coming week, as test runs they hope will build toward a Republican carrying Wisconsin in the general election, which hasn't happened since 1984.