Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a slight lead over Rick Santorum in Illinois, but nearly half of voters say they could still change their mind before the state's primary election later this month, according to a new Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll.
The poll, published Sunday, showed likely GOP voters favored Romney to Santorum 35 percent to 31 percent. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 12 percent, Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul had 7 percent, and 16 percent of voters were undecided.
But the poll said 46 percent of voters said they could still change their minds as the state's March 20 primary election approaches.
The poll showed that Romney is doing well in Chicago's suburbs, but Santorum has a 35 percent to 29 percent advantage in the 96 counties outside the Chicago area, where Republican voters are typically more conservative.
The poll of 600 registered likely voters was conducted March 7-9. It had an error margin of 4 percentage points.
Of the polled voters, 42 percent described themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians. Of those voters, 42 percent are supporting Santorum compared with 26 percent for Romney. Among the 54 percent of voters who don't consider themselves evangelical or born-again Christians, Romney was ahead of Santorum, 43 percent to 22 percent.
Voters were also polled on which issues they cared most about.
The nation's economy was named by 38 percent as the top issue, 33 percent said the size and power of the federal government, 17 percent said the federal budget deficit and 9 percent said abortion.
Even with an undetermined presidential primary contest, 72 percent said they were satisfied with the field of contenders, while 26 percent said they weren't satisfied.