March 21 - Mitt Romney expands his lead over Rick Santorum in their bid for the Republican presidential nomination after a comfortable win in Illinois. Simon Hanna reports.
Mitt Romney cruises to a comfortable victory in Illinois, moving him one step closer to clinching the Republican Party's presidential nomination. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: "You know, elections are about choices and today hundreds of thousands of people in Illinois have joined millions of people across the country to join our cause" The front runner's easy victory gave him a fresh burst of momentum in the White House campaign. The win expands his lead over the other candidates, adding weight to his argument for Republicans to rally around his campaign and end the bitter nominating battle. In second place behind Romney both in Illinois and overall was Rick Santorum. Despite the setback there was fighting talk from Santorum - who has positioned himself as the true conservative in the race. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RIC SANTORUM: "This is not an election about not who's the best person to manage Washington or manage the economy. We don't need a manager. We need someone who's going to pull up government by the roots and throw it out and do something to liberate the private sector in America. That's what we need." Heading into the voting, Santorum had 239 delegates and Romney 521 in the race for the 1144 needed to win the nomination. Simon Hanna, Reuters.