Illinois voters head to the polls Tuesday to select their choice for the best candidate to be the Republican presidential nominee. Here are five things to watch ahead of the evening’s nominating contest.
Tuesday night’s primary is basically a head-to-head match-up between what looks right now like the race’s remaining two frontrunners: Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are both essentially sitting out Illinois’ primary in order to focus on other forthcoming contests – which means that Romney and Santorum have the unique opportunity to show the country what a two-man race would look like.
At the moment, it looks like Romney has a significant advantage in Illinois, which has a strong base of moderate voters in the large, Chicago-area suburban territories. In a recent ARG poll, the former Massachusetts governor led Santorum by a 14-point margin, with 44 percent support to 30 percent support. What’s more, Santorum is not eligible for some of the delegates at stake. The former Pennsylvania senator does not have delegates on the ballot for him in four congressional districts, essentially ceding 10 of the available delegates.