The New York Times
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 -- 8:44 PM EDT
Romney Wins Illinois Republican Primary, Exit Polls Say
Mitt Romney won a commanding victory over Rick Santorum in Illinois on Tuesday, providing new ammunition for his argument that the Republican nomination contest should quickly give way to a focus on defeating President Obama.
Mr. Romney bested his chief rival among many types of voters, winning among voters of all ages and most income groups. Mr. Romney drew the support of more moderate voters — as he has in the past — but also won among voters who said they were supportive of the Tea Party movement.
For Mr. Santorum, the loss was a missed opportunity to blunt Mr. Romney's momentum. Mr. Santorum's victories have mostly come in the south and Tuesday's primary was a moment that he could have used to demonstrate strength elsewhere.
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