Mitt Romney swept to victory in the Illinois Republican primary on Tuesday, using the full force of his campaign and an argument that he has the best chance of defeating President Obama to overcome doubts among the more conservative voters at the heart of his party.
After his narrow margins of victory in battleground states like Michigan and Ohio and losses in Southern states kept alive questions about his ability to rally his party behind him, Mr. Romney recorded a sizable victory over his closest rival, Rick Santorum, in Illinois's popular vote, says New York Times.
Romney entered the race as the presumptive front-runner and has faced challenges from all of the self-proclaimed more-conservative candidates in the race. His march to the nomination has suffered significant setbacks in this most volatile of Republican campaigns, but Tuesday's win was a major step forward.
Romney padded his commanding lead in the race for delegates, winning at least 41 of the 54 contested delegates in Illinois, according to CNN estimates.
"(Romney) had the cloak of inevitability early on. It got ripped off, put it back on, got ripped off and now it's back on again," Gergen said, according to CNN.
Late last week Santorum went to Puerto Rico to campaign, and while there he observed that the island would have to adopt English as its official language in order to become a state. Aside from the fact that there's no such constitutional requirement, it was a bizarre and stupid thing coming from the mouth of a man who wanted the island's delegates. He spent some time working on his tan, but otherwise his visit was a waste of time, money and effort.We might explain the comment away as the man's honest, misinformed refusal to pander. And how to explain this one? "I don't care what the unemployment rate is going to be. It doesn't matter to me. My campaign doesn't hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates." A simple gaffe? Romney made a similar mistake when he said that he didn't care about the poorest Americans, and that wasn't exactly what he meant. In context, Santorum's gaffe was worse, and he made it much more emphatically. It clearly wasn't a gaffe at all, but the product of muddled thinking, informs Washington Times.