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Election Day Roundup: Romney Wins Illinois GOP Primary, Duckworth To Face Walsh In November

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 21, 2012 2:53PM

Mitt Romney easily won the Illinois GOP presidential primary Tuesday and, ultimately, he won easily in what was the lowest voter turnout for a presidential primary in 70 years—Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen estimated the turnout at 24 percent.

Romney rode strong support among Republican voters in the metropolitan Chicago area to defeat former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum by over 107,000 votes. Downstaters, who tended to support Santorum now have another reason to hate Chicago.

A state exit poll showed that, while rural voters supported Santorum, 27 percent of Cook County voters favored Romney. GOP voters who considered themselves somewhat conservative (the largest Republican voting bloc in the state) favored Romney over Santorum, 54 percent to 34 percent. A Sun-Times editorial in today's paper opines that, once again, the moderate base of the Illinois GOP has turned away a challenge from its more conservative minority.

The Sun-Times has a handy map that breaks down the vote, county by county, that's worth a look.

In the marquee congressional primary races, it looks like Tammy Duckworth will head into a general election showdown with Joe Walsh in the 8th Congressional District in November. Duckworth, who had the support of Democratic Kingmakers, beat Illinois Deputy Treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi in yesterday's primary. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr's hard campaigning against Debbie Halvorson paid off with a convincing win. In a primary battle pitting two GOP incumbent congressmen against each other thanks to the newly drawn Illinois congressional district map, Adam Kinzinger defeated Don Manzullo in the 16th Congressional District.

From the "the more things change, the more they stay the same" department, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown is on her way to a fourth term in November after holding off a primary challenge from 22nd Ward Ald. Ricardo Munoz. and State Rep. Derrick Smith, who last week was indicted for taking a $7,500 bribe, easily won his primary challenge against Tom Swiss.