As we we predicted yesterday, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has won the Illinois Primary. At the time of this post, Romney lead closest rival Rick Santorum by 20 points with 32 percent of the results in.
This is an important win for Romney as he can expect to take a good chunk of Illinois’ 69 delegates, pushing him closer to the magical number of 1,144.
Even though there was light turnout from Chicago, Romney had the edge due to strong support from the Chicago suburbs that Santorum couldn’t compete with. These suburban voters, election experts say, play a key role in the primary and will be an important demographic in the general election in the fall. If Romney is the nominee, which is looking more likely, it’s critical for him to continue to perform well in suburban areas.
Despite a distant third place finish with eight percent of the vote, Newt Gingrich vowed to stay in the race, saying:
“To defeat Barack Obama, Republicans can’t nominate a candidate who relies on outspending his opponents 7-1. Instead, we need a nominee who offers powerful solutions that hold the President accountable for his failures.”
Perhaps someone should remind Newt that fact that he spent his Sunday sightseeing instead of campaigning probably had more to do with his loss in Illinois than any amount of money Romney spent.