Victory for Mitt Romney in Illinois Republican primary

Republican Mitt Romney cruised to an easy victory over top rival Rick Santorum in Illinois on Tuesday. With this victory he moved one step closer to be nominated as the Republican presidential candidate.

Romney told cheering supporters in Schaumburg, Illinois, that elections are about choices, and hundreds of thousands of people in Illinois have joined millions across the country to join their cause. He said he had the vision and experience to get the nation out of the crisis it is in now.

Of the 62 percent votes counted, Romney had 47 percent, Santorum; a former U.S. senator had 35 percent, with Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich lagging in third and place fourth place respectively. The diverse electorate in Illinois paid off for Romney, who has been unable to translate his substantial financial and organizational advantages into broad support in many states. Though many conservatives were not convinced, Romney has more than twice as many delegates to the nominating convention as Santorum, and Romney’s campaign has argued that his rivals cannot catch him in the contest to pick a challenger to Obama in the Nov. 6 election.

By the end of June when the nominating contests ends, Santorum and Gingrich hope to keep Romney from capturing a majority of delegates, leaving the choice up for grabs among the party’s mostly conservative delegates heading into the August nominating convention in Tampa, Florida.

We don’t need a manager,” Santorum told supporters in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, after the results were announced. “We need someone who is going to pull government up by the roots and throw it out.”

The win in Illinois allowed Romney to expand his lead in delegates over Santorum. Heading into the voting, Romney had 521 delegates to Santorum’s 239 in the race for the 1,144 needed to win the nomination, according to a count by CNN.

There were 54 delegates to be allocated in Illinois from Tuesday’s voting, but Santorum was not eligible to win many of them because he failed to meet deadlines to file a slate of delegates in certain districts. As it stands, it looks like there is no match for Romney at the moment.

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