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Mitt Romney wins primary in Obama's home state

Last updated on: March 21, 2012 10:03 IST

Mitt Romney wins primary in Obama's home state

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Republican hopeful Mitt Romney has secured a commanding win in the Illinois presidential primary, taking him a step closer to bagging the party's nomination to challenge incumbent Barack Obama in the November presidential elections.

With about one-fifth of the votes counted, Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, had garnered 54 per cent of the total votes polled, with his nearest rival Rick Santorum, the former Senator from Pennsylvania, trailing behind at 29 per cent.

A win in Illinois -- Obama's home state -- was considered a must for Romney to bag the Republican presidential nomination this summer.

Even after this big win, American media said that the deal is not done yet for Romney.

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Image: US Republican presidential candidate Romney waves to supporters with his wife Ann in Illinois
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters

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Mitt Romney wins primary in Obama's home state

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"Mitt Romney got a much-needed victory in Illinois on Tuesday night, but his triumph is unlikely to change the dynamics of the GOP presidential primary," The Hill said, adding that Santorum is favoured to win the next contests.

The Republican presidential campaign now moves to the state of Louisiana, which is headed by Indian American Governor Bobby Jindal.

According to the latest poll, Santorum lead Romney by 13 points in this state.

"Mitt Romney won Tuesday's Republican presidential primary in Illinois, a victory that widened his lead over his chief rival for the nomination and will likely provide a jolt of energy to his campaign. Despite the victory for Romney, the race is unlikely to dramatically shake up the basic geometry of the race," The Washington Post reported.

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Image: Romney greets supporters during his Illinois primary night rally
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters

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Mitt Romney wins primary in Obama's home state

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"Though Illinois is a major prize for Romney, who will claim the majority of the state's 54 delegates, the victory does not close the door on Rick Santorum, who will also win a portion of those delegates and has vowed to soldier on," the daily said.

It is the first time since 1988 that a Republican presidential primary has been relevant in Illinois, the Chicago Tribune said.

The other two candidates, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, had polled less than 10 per cent of the total votes.

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Image: Mitt Romney arrives for his Illinois primary night rally in Schaumburg, Illinois
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters

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