2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

Complete coverage of the 2012 election

Mitt Romney Wins Big in Illinois GOP Presidential Primary

"It’s time to say these words, this word: Enough. We’ve had enough,” Romney says in victory speech

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012  |  Updated 10:19 AM CDT
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Mitt Romney recaptured momentum in the GOP race for the presidency Tuesday night with a projected victory in Illinois. He spoke to supporters from an event in Schaumburg.

Mitt Romney recaptured momentum in the GOP race for the presidency Tuesday night with a projected victory in Illinois. He spoke to supporters from an event in Schaumburg.

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Santorum Addresses Supporters

Dealt a resounding defeat in Illinois' presidential primary, Republican Rick Santorum brushed off the latest loss to rival Mitt Romney and told his supporters on Tuesday to "saddle up like Reagan did in the cowboy movies" and help him narrow a seemingly insurmountable deficit in delegates. He spoke to supporters from an event in Gettysburg, Penn.
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Mitt Romney recaptured momentum in the GOP race for the presidency Tuesday night with a projected victory in Illinois.

NBC News projected Romney as the winner of Illinois at about 7:40 p.m.

With a third of the precincts reporting, Romney had 57.34 percent and Santorum 27.09 percent. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, who did not campaign heavily in Illinois, were far behind, with 8.30 percent and 6.66 percent respectively.

"It’s time to say these words, this word: Enough.  We’ve had enough,” Romney said in his victory speech.

The former Massachusetts governor needed a solid victory here to recover from a drubbing in Mississippi and Alabama last week at the hands of Rick Santorum.

Santorum, who surprised many by winning both those southern states outright, is behind Romney in the Illinois count but ahead of his closest conservative competitors Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.

The former Pennsylvania senator wasn’t on the ballot in four of Illinois’ 18 districts.

Santorum spoke after Romney from from a location in Elgin.

The second place finish by Santorum could renew calls for Gingrich to leave the race and allow conservatives to coalesce around one candidate in an effort to stop Romney from slowly marching toward the nomination.

In Illinois, as in Michigan and Ohio, Romney enjoyed an enormous advantage in television advertising. His campaign and Restore Our Future, a super PAC that supports him, outspent Santorum and his super PAC by $3.5 million to $500,000, an advantage of 7-1.

Romney leads in the delegate count and should increase his margin after the Illinois contest.

"Together we’re going to ensure that America’s greatest days are ahead," Romney said. 

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