Romney favoured in Illinois GOP primary | Print |
Written by Daniel Green   
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 11:20

Former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, is expected to move closer to securing the Republican candidacy for U.S. president by winning Tuesday’s Illinois primary, polls and experts suggest.

The latest poll numbers by Public Policy have Romney ahead of former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum, in Illinois by a ratio of 45 to 30 per cent, The Daily Beast reported Monday. Romney’s lead is attributed to the high concentration of affluent voters in the suburban communities surrounding Chicago.

As late as Saturday, the New York Times suggested the possibility of no clear winner emerging, which would result in an “open convention,” where potentially any prominent Republican could be nominated in August at the national party gathering in Tampa.

Photo courtest of Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

However, U.S. politics expert from the University of Toronto, Ronald Prussen, told that's unlikely to happen.

“I’m not sure it’ll come to that in any literal sense,” he said. “Although I don’t have a crystal ball, I strongly suspect [Santorum] will lose Illinois, making his chances less likely in other states.”

Prussen also said that the unlikelihood of an open convention isn’t due to the popularity of any candidate, but instead the unpopularity of certain candidates.

“It doesn’t mean that there’s much enthusiasm for Romney, it’s just that Santorum has had some problematic positions as far as mainstream voters are concerned,” he said, adding that as the primaries move to states like New York and California, Santorum "will lose ground.”

The state of Illinois is worth a total of 69 delegates at the GOP national convention, 54 of which are to be allocated after Tuesday’s result.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Santorum’s chances are even more doubtful since he failed to find delegates who would support him in four out of the state’s 18 districts, meaning the maximum number he can win Tuesday is 44.

Currently, Romney has the support of 521 delegates, followed by Santorum with 253, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, with 136, and Texas congressman, Ron Paul, with 50 according to a Wall Street Journal tally.

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