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Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks president, also has told conservatives outside his organization that it’s time to unite behind someone and build the local machinery to take on Mr. Obama.

“It’s hard to figure out how someone other than Mitt Romney wins at this point,” Mr. Kibbe told radio host Glenn Beck. “He’s got the numbers on his side.”

Mr. Kibbe said that while Mr. Romney has “flaws,” he has great strength in his successful management of businesses and can beat Mr. Obama in November.

“We feel it’s time to shift our attention to defeating Obama and begin the difficult task of taking back the Senate,” Mr. Walker said. “No matter which Republican wins the White House, that person will need a strong reform caucus in the Senate and House to move a pro-growth economic agenda. Our goal has always been focused on building that reform caucus and winning back the Senate.”

But some tea party enthusiasts in Illinois aren’t ready to buy the “coalesce” theme.

“I supported Santorum and voted for him in the Illinois primary today,” said Joe Morris, an assistant attorney general during the Reagan administration. “I approached the whole field — Romney, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman [remember him?], Ron Paul, Santorum — with an open mind and a laborious process of elimination led me to the vote that I cast.”