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Romney up big in Illinois

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Illinois's 69 delegates are up for grabs in the state's Tuesday GOP primary but polling suggests they may all be trending in former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's favor. Public Policy Polling announced Monday that Romney "is headed for a blowout victory in Illinois," leading closest challenger Rick Santorum by 15 points in their latest poll.

"Romney's particularly strong among voters who live in suburban areas (50-29) and with those who live in urban areas (46-23). But he's even running slightly ahead of Santorum, 38-36, with folks who identify as living in rural parts and that strength with a group of voters he hasn't tended to do that well with is why he's looking at such a lopsided margin of victory.

Romney tends to win moderates in most states and Santorum usually win voters describing themselves as 'very conservative.' The swing group in the Republican electorate is those identifying as just 'somewhat conservative.' Romney is winning those folks by a whooping 60-20 margin in Illinois. Romney's also benefiting from a 52-28 advantage with seniors.

We've tended to find Santorum a lot more popular with voters even in states that Romney has won over the last six weeks, but that's not the case in Illinois. Romney's favorability is 57/34, about par for the course of where we've found him this year. Santorum's at only 55/36, much worse numbers than we've seen for him most places in the last couple months, and suggesting that GOP voters are starting to sour on him a little bit."

Romney is also up on Santorum eight and a half points in the RealClearPolitics average polling in Illinois from 3/7-3/18.
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