Mitt Romney gets a solid, double-digit win in Illinois and takes home the lion’s share of the delegates, further enhancing his wide lead in the delegate chase. Last week, polls were showing the race there much closer between Romney and Rick Santorum. However, recent polls had shown Romney with as much as an 18-point load, which he fell short of in the actual vote. But Illinois, where the majority of GOP voters are well-educated, high-income, moderate suburbanites, is the kind of state that is tailor-made for a candidate like Romney. The fact that Santorum was ever close to him in the polls is quite remarkable. Now, it’s back to the South on Saturday in Louisiana, where the going is likely not to be so easy for Romney. However, it will also be another opportunity for him to break through in the South and essentially lock up the nomination by doing so.
Rick Santorum campaigned hard in Illinois, but he was fighting an uphill battle. He ultimately finished 12 points behind, in second place. He did pick up a handful of delegates, but that was little return on investment for the amount of time he put into trying to win over voters in that state. However, the demographics were just too much in Romney’s favor. Santorum now heads to Louisiana, which his obviously much more friendly territory for him. Right now, he is leading big in the polls there. A win would likely get back on track as the March primary schedule comes to an end. However, a loss to Romney would be disastrous.
Ron Paul didn’t put much effort into Illinois, and finished third with nine percent of the vote and no delegates.
This was another last-place finish for the floundering Newt Gingrich. True to form, he’s had trouble of late staying out of cellar in most non-southern states. In Louisiana, he’s got a decent shot at finishing second, but I’m not sure what that would accomplish other than allowing him to remain in the race a little longer.