Mitt Romney has picked up another 39 delegate votes in Illinois:
Illinois Republicans delivered a decisive victory to Mitt Romney in the state’s presidential primary Tuesday, crushing Rick Santorum in what amounted to the first big-state head-to-head contest among the front-runners for the GOP nomination.
With 98 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, unofficial results showed the former Massachusetts governor with 46.7 percent of the vote to Santorum’s 35 percent. The other two candidates in the race, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, made only token campaign efforts in Illinois and were trailing badly.
Even more important for Romney, he swamped Santorum by winning 39 of the 54 elected delegates up for grabs in the state. Santorum had only five, though votes were still being counted in several Downstate congressional districts where he ran strongest.
“What a night. Thank you, Illinois. What a night. Wow!,” Romney said to supporters at his victory party at a Schaumburg hotel shortly after 8 p.m. “Tonight we thank the people of Illinois for their vote and for this extraordinary victory.”
Romney’s margins among voters likely to vote for him in November were probably even larger. Yesterday I had a number of voters, people who will undoubtedly vote for Obama in November, tell me that they were voting for Santorum because they thought he was an easier candidate to beat.
In Chicago the turnout was of record-breaking proportions: it was the lowest in history. In mid-afternoon election officials here were predicting a 15% turnout which I suspect was boosted by Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s primary challenge for his seat in Congress, which he won handily. Up here on the Northwest side none of the legislators up for re-election faced primary challenges, most of those on the ballot were judges, and, sadly, nobody will turn up at a primary just to vote for judges.
In the precinct in which I worked 70 of 558 registered voters turnout out, roughly 11%. In a general election we’d expect more than three-quarters of registered voters to turn out and even in a primary more than half usually show up. In the 25 years I’ve been working as an election judge this is the lowest turnout I’ve ever seen.
On the bright side I did finish the book I’d brought with me and I plan to review it in a later post.