“Mitt Romney scored a decisive victory over Rick Santorum in the Illinois primary on Tuesday, tightening his grip on the Republican front-runner’s slot and improving his chances of locking up the nomination by the end of the presidential primary season in June,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
“Santorum, meantime, suffered a serious setback in his effort to send the GOP battle spilling onto the floor of the nominating convention in late August.
“Turnout in the Chicago metro area, where most of the state’s voters live, was said to be light, despite clear skies and record-high temperatures in the mid-80s. But Romney carried the largely suburban collar counties around Chicago by 20 percentage points, according to exit poll data, building a lead that Santorum was unable to overcome in other parts of the state.
“The Republican race has increasingly solidified into a divisive contest between the party’s monied interests, which overwhelmingly back Romney, and the conservative grass-roots base, which has favored the more meagerly financed and loosely organized Santorum.”
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