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Romney sees Illinois win as turning point

Mitt Romney says he’s “almost there” in his six-year pursuit of the Republican presidential nomination after defeating Rick Santorum in the Illinois GOP primary. “Tonight’s win means we are that much closer to securing the nomination, uniting our party, and taking on President Obama,” the Republican front-runner wrote in a campaign email sent late Tuesday. He urged the party to fall in line behind his bid, saying, “We are almost there.” The former Massachusetts governor and his allies spent hundreds of thousands of dollars more than Santorum and his backers in Illinois, and it showed in the results: Romney was
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GOP primary circus: Endless campaign still looking for a winner

Mitt Romney‘s methodical accumulation of Republican delegates is no thing of beauty, and the public is reacting in kind. The 2012 presidential race thus far is drawing rather tepid interest despite high stakes that include pivotal decisions about the weak economy and the fate of President Barack Obama’s massive health care overhaul. Generally speaking, voter turnout, political fundraising and public curiosity are down compared with four years ago, when John McCain pulled away from Romney and others to secure the GOP nomination. Among Democrats, there’s no primary drama after a 2008 thriller that saw Obama battle Hillary Rodham Clinton through
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Illinois voters wanted candidate to beat Obama

Voters hunting for a candidate who can defeat President Barack Obama and with the proper experience helped vault Mitt Romney to victory Tuesday in Illinois’ presidential primary, according to results of an exit poll of voters. His win was also powered by robust margins from people worried about the economy and federal deficits. Main challenger Rick Santorum ran strongly among people who want their contender to be a true conservative and to exhibit strong moral character, and with the most religiously driven voters. But Illinois only has modest proportions of such voters, narrowing the former Pennsylvania senator’s appeal. “Romney is
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Tea party rookie beats veteran GOP congressman

A rookie Congressman with Tea Party support beat a veteran Republican twice his age on Tuesday in a primary contest between incumbents forced by Democratic gerrymandering of the electoral map designed to gain congressional seats in November. Freshman Republican Adam Kinzinger, 34, declared victory over 20-year Representative Don Manzullo, who turns 68 this month, in the second of 11 primary contests nationwide pitting incumbents against each other. “It’s time for a new generation of leadership in Washington, D.C.,” Kinzinger said in his victory speech. Kinzinger survived even though he disappointed some of his Tea Party base by voting for a
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Romney scores key victory in Illinois primary

Mitt Romney won the Illinois Republican presidential primary Tuesday night, re-establishing himself as the frontrunner. Returns show Romney beating rival Rick Santorum easily.  With 63.66 percent of the votes counted, Romney leads with 47 percent to Santorum’s 35 percent.  Ron Paul is a distant third at 9 percent and Newt Gingrich breaks up the rear with 8 percent. News organizations, analyzing exit polls, declared Romney the winner before 9 p.m. EDT. “This puts Romney back in control,” a leading GOP consultant told Capitol Hill Blue Tuesday night.  “This could be the beginning of Santorum’s fade.” A dismal finish by former
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Romney banking on key win in Illinois

There will be no knockout punch, but an increasingly confident Mitt Romney expects to tighten his grasp on the Republican presidential nomination with the Illinois primary. Romney is surging in Illinois polls after the race was seen as a statistical tie just a week ago. He’s riding momentum from a lopsided weekend victory in Puerto Rico punctuated by apparent missteps from rival rick Santorum on the eve of Tuesday’s Illinois contest. Romney’s wife, Ann, suggested in recent days that Illinois voters could send a strong message that now is the time to coalesce behind one candidate. Romney is eager to
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Santorum’s stumbles could cost him in Illinois primary

As they await an Illinois primary vote whose outcome is hardly assured, Mitt Romney is betting his message of economic proficiency will resonate with Republican voters more than Rick Santorum‘s sharply honed conservatism. Both men were competing for the 54 delegates at stake Tuesday in Illinois. They were looking to score a victory in a state that was not only home to President Barack Obama but is also one of the last major battlegrounds before a three-week lull in April. Romney’s confidence was on display Monday, while Santorum was forced on the defensive for first declaring that the economy was
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Four GOP justices control the fate of Obamacare

Here’s a thought that can’t comfort President Barack Obama: The fate of his health care overhaul rests with four Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices. His most sweeping domestic achievement could be struck down if they stand together with Justice Clarence Thomas, another GOP appointee who is the likeliest vote against. But the good news for Obama is that he probably needs only one of the four to side with him to win approval of the law’s crucial centerpiece, the requirement that almost everyone in this country has insurance or pays a penalty. Lawyers with opposing views of the issue uniformly agree
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McCain: 2012 GOP primary ‘the nastiest’ ever

The Republican campaign to choose a candidate to take on President Barack Obama in November is “the nastiest” ever, presidential campaign veteran John McCain said Sunday. McCain should know — he was the target of a barrage of destructive rumors himself in his losing 2000 campaign against George Bush to become the Republican presidential candidate. In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he blamed the mudslinging on the so-called “super PACs,” which can raise and spend unlimited sums in support of a candidate so long as their campaign activities are not directly coordinated. “The super PACs have played a
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Romney creams Santorum in Puerto Rico primary

Mitt Romney scored an overwhelming win Sunday in Puerto Rico’s Republican presidential primary, trouncing chief rival Rick Santorum on the Caribbean island even as the two rivals looked ahead to more competitive contests this week in Illinois and Louisiana. The victory in the U.S. territory was so convincing that Romney, the GOP front-runner, won all 20 delegates to the national convention at stake because he prevailed with more than 50 percent of the vote. That padded his comfortable lead over Santorum in the race to amass the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Nevertheless, the GOP nomination fight is
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