Mitt Romney reclaimed full ownership of the Republican frontrunner title Tuesday as he ran away with the Illinois GOP presidential primary, beating his nearest rival Rick Santorum 47 percent to 35 percent. (March 21, 2012)
Tonight we thank the people of Illinois for their vote and for this extraordinary victory -- Yeah. Mitt Romney coast to an easy victory over GOP rival Rick Santorum an Illinois. Romney -- coming santorum's effort to rally rule conservative voters in the state with overwhelming support from Republicans in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. And 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 win moves -- closer to winning enough delegates to clinch the 2012 Republican nomination. But with Illinois now in his pocket. He's still only half way to that goal in thanking his supporters Romney looked past Santorum and went after the person he hopes to oppose in November. President Barack Obama. But day by day job killing regulation -- job killing regulation. Bureaucrat by bureaucrat this president is pressure in the dream and the dreamers and I will make sure that finally ends. It. Rick Santorum appearing before a boisterous home state crowd of supporters and Gettysburg Pennsylvania. Congratulated Romney on the win. But he was far from ready to concede the nomination to the former Massachusetts governor. -- -- When someone is gonna pull up government by the roots and throw it out and do something to liberate the private sector in America that's. The Republican battle has settled into a two man race between Romney and Santorum. With former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich and representative Ron Paul of Texas both following are behind. Exit polls and Illinois showed Romney winning over voters in the affluent Chicago suburbs but they also showed let's -- warm narrowly. As the candidate who best understood the average American's problems the poll -- it's warm continuing to do well with rural conservatives. Who have propelled him from the back of the field to solid second place in just a matter of months. The Romney campaign looks ahead to primaries and friendly northeast states to new York and Connecticut. Santorum faces an uphill battle for delegates but is expected to do well in the Louisiana primary coming up on Saturday. Which insures that its two man race for the nomination will continue.