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Illinois Primary Takes On Slightly Greater Significance For GOP After Super Tuesday

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 7, 2012 5:00PM

We learned a few things from yesterday's Republican presidential primaries.

- Mitt Romney is still the favorite and probable GOP nominee.
- The candidacies of Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are on thin ice.
- Rick Santorum is picking up support in the heartland.

Romney won six of the 10 primaries yesterday, but failed to wrap up enough delegates to make this drawn out campaign academic. Some political prognosticators predict he won't have the necessary 1,144 delegates to secure the nomination until May.

Santorum's primary wins in Oklahoma and Tennessee led to further speculation that Romney is having trouble gaining support from ultra conservatives> This makes the March 20 Illinois primary—and its 54 delegates—take on slightly more important significance.

Santorum is behind the proverbial 8-ball in the Land of Lincoln, appearing on the ballot in only 14 of the state's 18 congressional districts, meaning he's eligible for only 44 of the delegates up for claim. Santorum's state campaign chair, Jon Zahm, said the former Pennsylvania senator will simply campaign harder in the 14 districts where his name shows up on the ballot.

Another advantage Santorum can claim is ties to Illinois: he's a 1976 graduate of Carmel High School in Mundelein.

The performances of Gingrich yesterday has his campaign on life support, while Paul has no mathematical shot at the nomination.