Romney Wins, but No End in Sight After Illinois
Romney takes big state but fails to flip Santorum's base
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2012 4:35 AM CDT
Updated Mar 21, 2012 7:58 AM CDT
Mitt Romney waves to the crowd during a victory rally in Schaumburg, Illinois last night.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney's decisive win in Illinois extends his delegate lead, but it's not enough to change the dynamics of the race, let alone knock out Rick Santorum, pundits say.

  • Romney has scored another big win in a Midwestern state, but even his "staunchest allies don’t expect him to pick up enough momentum" to win Louisiana on Saturday, "meaning the 'Romney can’t win the South' and 'Romney can’t win conservatives over' storylines" will linger into April, writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post.

  • Neither Romney nor Santorum managed to expand their voter base in Illinois, and the low turnout will add fuel to arguments that Romney can't excite voters, notes Maggie Haberman at Politico. Santorum's speech "was a strong reminder of why he resonates with a base that has shown it wants the race to keep going," she writes. "In fact, more than two-thirds of voters in the Illinois exits said they want the primary to plow forward."
  • Romney did well with his core voters but he didn't flip many of Santorum's supporters, and the results show he still faces "sustained opposition from a sizeable bloc of Republicans: the rural vote, the socio-economically downscale, and the very conservative," writes Jay Cost at the Weekly Standard. The demographics mean that Pennsylvania's April 24 primary is a good opportunity for Mitt to finish off Santorum with a win in his home state, Cost writes, but if Romney can't pull that off, expect the race to drag on into June.

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Showing 3 of 39 comments
Non-deep-thinker
Mar 21, 2012 9:47 AM CDT
Another stunning loss for Romney. Why doesn't he just drop out?
mbezzan
Mar 21, 2012 9:32 AM CDT
look they have changed the rules on how delegates are awarded since the last caucus/primary season, they are now awarded proportionally in many states. If the old rules were used he would have clinched it already. With the new rules taken into account, it is not what is expected but Romney is doing very very well and is the solid front runner. The hype is just the media, he has the nomination unless they uncover something really dumb that he did.
crafter67
Mar 21, 2012 9:08 AM CDT
Close race...You think they might have learned something from the bitterness some Democrats expressed when Ms Clinton had to concede in 2008 - but no, we never really learn do we?