Republican presidential candidate, former House speaker Newt Gingrich moves through a crowded pub during a campaign stop, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
The Land of Lincoln has become a prize for GOP candidates in recent weeks.
Our late primary is surprisingly important because no clear leader has emerged after months of wrangling for the nomination.
Next week on Wednesday March 14th, Newt Gingrich will host a rally in Rosemont at the Donald Stephens Convention Center at 3pm followed by fundraising events in Barrington and Palatine in the evening.Thursday he will speak to Barrington High School students and a Town Hall later at Judson University in the morning.
Mitt Romney also will make an Illinois swing.
Romney will spend Monday, March 19, in the Peoria area where supporter Congressman Aaron Schock will be the host, NBCChicago has learned. On election night in Illinois, Romney will host his primary night viewing party in the western suburbs.
Rick Santorum -- a 1978 graduate of Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein -- hasn't announced any appearances in the state, but his campaign is working hard on literature and get out the vote efforts.
Likewise, Ron Paul hasn't announced an personal appearances, but his campaign plans to join up with a number of public events, such as the St. Patricks Day Parade over the next week.