Poll: Romney lead widens in Illinois
March 19th, 2012
11:08 AM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Romney lead widens in Illinois

(CNN) – Mitt Romney leads his closest rival Rick Santorum by double digits in the upcoming battleground of Illinois, according to a poll released Monday.

The American Research Group survey showed Romney with support from 44% of likely GOP primary voters, compared to 30% who backed Santorum. The fourteen point margin is a marked increase for Romney, who stood only four points ahead of his rival in a Chicago Tribune/WGN poll taken at the beginning of March.

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The two other candidates in the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination trailed the leaders by a wide margin. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich stood at 13%, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul had the backing of 8% of likely GOP voters. Four percent said they were still undecided.

Fifty-four delegates are at stake in Illinois, which holds its Republican presidential primary Tuesday.

In early voting, Romney also holds a solid lead over Santorum, according to the poll. Fifty-one percent of people surveyed who said they had already voted cast ballots for Romney, compared to 36% who said they went for Santorum.

Even among tea party supporters, Romney held a lead over Santorum, despite the perception among some Republicans that Romney is the less conservative candidate. Forty-one percent of voters who said they were supporters of the tea party backed Romney, and 35% supported Santorum.

Romney also led Santorum among both men and women, though his support among males was lower than it was among females. He had the backing of 43% of men, and 46% of women.

The ARG poll was taken March 17-18, after Santorum swept voting contests in Mississippi and Alabama, but before Romney won Puerto Rico's primary on Sunday. The poll was conducted by telephone among 600 likely Republican primary voters, and the sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • Illinois
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    OMG!!! Does the GOP/Teatroll voter fraud ever end??!?!?!?!?!? How many times does CNN have to post a photograph of them using children to cast votes before someone puts an end to the madness!!!????

    March 19, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |

    Say it with me now: OPEN PRIMARY

    Hey Willard! About 2 weeks ago you faced an open primary in Michigan. How do you think this is going to turn out for you this time around?

    March 19, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    For not having any money to combat Mittens, for not having a ground game, for not having delegates in every district, and having no message other than being against women's rights, and having Mittens spend $45 million in negative ads, Santorum had Mittens on the ropes. Time for Rick to go back to the seminary.

    March 19, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Woman In California

    It really doesn't matter because Illinois will go to Obama in the fall anyway.

    March 19, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. jeff

    If Santorum had a semblance of a good foreign strategy he would be in the lead, but his ignorance of military and the situation of the South East Asia corridor is downright awful

    March 19, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Senor Ed

    Rmoney – the best candidate Republican money can buy. Whether you're a billionaire, or just a lowly millionaire, a NASCAR owner or an NFL owner, you can be sure that Mitt will look out for your interests. The poor? They're of no concern.

    March 19, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Michael B

    Romney 2012!

    March 19, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. demwit

    Good thing for Mitt, according to Candy's feelings..

    March 19, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Phil99

    Savvy Illinois voters understand that Santorum is a delusional lightweight- his whiny complaints about Romney being better organized and better able to raise champaign funds are designed to do what- bring out a sympathy vote? Good luck with that... It's clear that Romney is the only republican candidate that can end the Obama 'put America in hock' extreme inflationary binge...

    March 19, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "See honey? This is called a 'Diebold Voting Machine.' The rules are very simple: whatever you tell it is your vote, that is the one thing it won't report as your vote."

    March 19, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Rob

    Newt is the one doing the negative campaigning. He constantly whines and makes ridiculous accusations about Romney. He plays the class card complaining about millionaires and billionaires supporting Romney. I hear Romney talking about the reasons we need a new president and a new administration. For Newt it is all about NEWT not about what is best for our country. Newt has no chance for the nomination and even less chance to be elected president. Too bad he doesn't have the class to take Callista and leave the race gracefully. His ego just won't let him.

    March 19, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. ned

    Republicans from Illinois know Obama, and they know that Romney is the guy to beat Obama. Go Romney.

    March 19, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "I hear Romney talking about the reasons we need a new president and a new administration. "

    I don't. All I hear is a guy possessed of all the charisma and humanity of a moldy dishrag yammering focus-group-tested Luntzian buzz words and positioning himself in the vague limbo-center of every issue so he can simultaneously tell both sides what he thinks they want to hear. Moreover, that you someone can't see the same-ness of Newtered's attacks on Mittens and Mittens' attacks on Obama is fairly asounding to me. You complain about the former as the baseless self-serving politicking, but somehow manage to interpret the latter as substantive and forthright. W That's almost weirder than Mittens.

    March 19, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. doublestandardssuck

    Fact: Open Primary. Fact: Obama fears Romney. Outcome: Close race, could go either way. Fact: It will have nothing to do with Santorum being the preferred choice. Fact: Romney's support is growing despite what the left-wing-media-in-obama's-pocket effort to never ever report anything positive about Romney.

    Headlines when Romney won 6/10 states on Super Tuesday: Romney Doesn't Knock it Out of the Park
    Headlines when Santorum BARELY wins MS/AL, and Romney won HI & Samoa: Santorum Sweeps South (nothing mentioned about Romney winning HI & Samoa or the fact that he ended up with 9 more delegates than Santorum)
    Headlines when Gingrich won Georgia with 48% vote: Gingrich Win's Home State by Landslide
    Headlines when Romney won Mass with 72% vote: oops, no headlines

    I could spend all day giving examples, but I have to work. I think I proved my point.

    March 19, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Phil99 wrote:

    ....It's clear that Romney is the only republican candidate that can end the Obama 'put America in hock' extreme inflationary binge...
    Back when current Indiana Gov Mitch Daniels was George W. Bush's Budget Director, he made a public prediction warning of trillion dollar deficits within a decade. This created talking points on the left, so they fired him. It would appear that Daniels' predictions were correct all along.

    Did you know that deficit for the final year of the Bush administration was $1.5 trillion dollars? It was $1.5 trillion during Pres. Obama's first year in office. Did you know that every deficit since that time has been lower than that high water mark set by Bush?

    March 19, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. doublestandardssuck

    I forgot to add that Romney continually gets painted as a "negative campaigner", but in every single interview I have seen him in he focuses on Obama unless asked questions by the interviewer about the other candidates, and then he always answers with "he is a great guy, I don't blame him for wanting win". While the other two are always saying nasty things and lie about Romney and have never ever said a good thing about him. It is crystal clear to anyone with any shred of intelligence who the better man is.

    March 19, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. Emmy Skaddittle

    It will be really hard for Santourm to win with just support from people who live in the sticks

    March 19, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. mikle

    I use to like Santorum, but after his constant blame Romney,i don't trust him.

    March 19, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |