Romney wins Illinois presidential primary

2012-03-21 08:11

Schaumburg - Mitt Romney won the Republican presidential primary in Illinois on Tuesday night, further extending his lead over chief rival Rick Santorum.

Romney, a multimillionaire who has the backing of most of the Republican establishment but struggles with the party's more conservative wing, is well ahead of Santorum in the overall race for delegates to choose a candidate to challenge President Barack Obama in the November election.

A defeat in Illinois would have triggered fresh anxiety within the party about the Romney's ability to win over its base.

Santorum, a Catholic who is favored by religious conservatives, has almost no hope of overtaking Romney in the tally of delegates who will choose the nominee.

Early exit polling in Illinois showed Romney was preferred by voters seeking a candidate to oust Obama, and by those worried about the economy and federal deficit.

Santorum had robust backing from people seeking a real conservative and a contender with a strong moral character, and from the most religiously driven voters. But Illinois has only modest proportions of such voters.

Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, had 522 delegates going into the Illinois voting, according to The Associated Press count. Santorum had 252, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 136 and Texas Representative Ron Paul 50. Delegates are allocated through state-by-state primary elections and caucuses, and a candidate needs 1 144 delegates to secure the nomination.

Neither Gingrich nor Paul campaigned extensively in Illinois.

Still, Romney's inability to shake off a seemingly weak rival like Santorum, an ex-US senator from Pennsylvania with little national following until a few months ago, highlights the struggles of his candidacy, reflecting his inability to generate excitement among Republican voters. It also means Romney has to spend time and money fighting primary battles instead of turning his full attention to defeating Obama.

In Illinois, Romney held an advantage in the competition for delegates to the Republican National Convention in August thanks to his superior campaign organization.

Santorum was ineligible for 10 of the 54 delegates at stake on Tuesday because his campaign didn't file the necessary paperwork.

His campaign argued on Tuesday that the race for delegates is closer than many people think.

Their count, which cuts back on Romney's delegates, assumes that the Republican National Committee will force Florida and Arizona to allocate their delegates on a proportional basis instead of winner-take-all. Romney won both states.

  • Trent Hodges - 2012-03-21 08:28

    Romney for President!

      Rodney - 2012-03-21 09:45

      So you have to have been poor or jobless to be able to be a successful President of the U.S.A.? Mitt Romney has been extremely successful as a Businessman as well as a Governor of Massachusetts,so what if he's wealthy, in America that admired. Consider the present incumbent,he's experience is Community Organiser and 2 years in the Senate.He's gone from saying 'YES WE CAN'to the present'IT'S NOT MY FAULT'.America has to get rid of a seriously out of depth failure.

      Kholofelo Thobela Kgoši Mokolo - 2012-03-21 10:02

      Thank the U.S. Supreme court for the superpacs(flogging dead horses, Newt, Ron, Rick), otherwise the GOP race and the entertainment would have been long over by now. If/When Romney wins nomination it's going to be impossible for his VILE-BITTER opponents to endorse him and be believable; which works out very well for Hussein:).

      Kholofelo Thobela Kgoši Mokolo - 2012-03-21 10:04

      Thank the U.S. Supreme court for the superpacs(flogging dead horses, Newt, Ron, Rick), otherwise the GOP race and the entertainment would have been long over by now. If/When Romney wins nomination it's going to be impossible for his VILE-BITTER opponents to endorse him and be believable; which works out very well for Hussein:).

      Peter - 2012-03-21 16:02

      I find American style democracy a bit of a farce. Then again, its a bit of a farce all over the world - but I guess a step up on any other system currently in place. Money still is the key to power, and as long as that is the case, the people will always remain the puppets of the mega wealthy. It all depends on how super greedy they become - if a tipping point is reached where not enough is shared, the system collapses. They can carry on playing with us as long as we all have enough to keep us from getting angry enough to remove them. Some people think a love of money and power is "ambition". I don't see the point, the only ambition that makes any sense is to enjoy life as much as possible, and a huge amount of money is not required for that purpose. (By me, anyway ...)

      Sizwe - 2012-03-21 17:15

      @Peter. I share your sentiments. The problem with money running politics is that big business tends to influence the stae and that creates a situation whereby the best interests of business become the interests of society by default which is not always the case. Business principles or not outsourcing critical industry operations based on cheap foreign labour can never be to a countries benefit in the long run, instead it leads to a skewed economy where a country is currency rich but the bulk of society is reeling in poverty from unemployment. these are some of the factors that the US economy should be teaching us as the sub-prime lending crisis was partly fueled by lack of employment or adequate compensation where there was employment and all this leads us back to policies aimed at satisfying big business and the wealthy elite that owns the industrial giants of our time.

  • -Aazona - 2012-03-21 08:34

    the end of America is nearing

      -Aazona - 2012-03-21 08:35

      Sizwe - 2012-03-21 17:16

      And believe you me many will crucify you for a simple, but obvious observation.

  • Colin - 2012-03-21 09:41

    Sitting on the sidelines - in SA (although when USA sneezes SA gets TB & influenza) - it's fascinating to watch a party self-destruct. The more Romney has to appease the right-wing Islamo-fascists populist platform - sorry, Fundamentalist Christians, it's so hard to tell religious nutters apart - the more he has to take positions that will hurt him in the campaign against Obama. Mind you, it was the ideological fundamentalists of the Republican Party which brought the country to a near stand-still over budget cuts. Under these circumstances, winning the Republican nomination will be a pyrrhic victory. Part of the fascination is that we have similar ideological fundamentalists, sadly within the ruling party (unlike the US). Of course, Vavi will never realise that Cosatu's clinging to its one-size-fits-all fatwa on labour broking is a major contributing factor to unemployment. Nor will Fat Boy see that his dogmatic call for nationalisation is another.

      Rodney - 2012-03-21 10:14

      Actually Romney is not pandering to the Right,Santorum and Gingrich are, and that's the only reason they're still there. Romney while winning comfortably(if not quickly) appeals to Moderates and Independents and that's the key to winning the General.So come November the Right ain't going to be voting for Obama, they hate him, they'll have vote for...Romney. Obama knows his worst nightmare is Romney and it's heading his way!!!

      Sizwe - 2012-03-21 17:22

      @Rodney. Not quite true, to take the debate from your angle, in fact Obama has mastered the art of moderation all through his term, hence most have labelled him undecisive whilst he has been the first true moderate President of the US in this current era. Romney's trump card is that He has wall street clout and that will win him the trust of americans, but what he has missed is that even Republicans have begun to lose faith in big business hence their clinging on to conservatives like Ron Paul and Santorum. And this will ultimately limit Romney's pool of the elctorate as the Democrats are more moderate than the Republicans, and using your theory they will vote for the more moderate of the two and that is undoubtedly the incumbent..

      Rodney - 2012-03-22 09:59

      @Sizwe, I follow your logic, although I disagree with the outcome obviously. What it does show that the Election is going to be a very tight thing, one in which the arguments put forward for scrutiny by the electorate will be fascinating, and as was recently pointed out in an article in Time magazine, Obama is going to get his turn under the spotlight- up until now it's just been the Republicans/Romney.I'm sure we'll have more to say as well

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