Tribune/WGN Poll: Romney, Santorum Close in Illinois

Monday, 12 Mar 2012 12:22 PM

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Mitt Romney, who was expected to win the Illinois primary on March 20, is running just slightly ahead of rival Rick Santorum. A new Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows the former Massachusetts governor with 35 percent compared with Santorum’s 31 percent.

The spread is within the poll’s 4-percentage-point margin of error. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is at 12 percent and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, at 7 percent. The Romney campaign has long viewed Illinois as a win and a firewall coming after Tuesday’s primaries in Alabama and Mississippi where Romney, Santorum and Gingrich are running neck and neck, the Tribune reported.

The poll of 600 registered GOP voters found Romney doing well in the Chicago suburbs but Santorum leading in the counties outside Chicago area.

Santorum also carries those who describe themselves as evangelical Christians, 42 percent to 26 percent, while among voters who do not consider themselves born-again or evangelical Christians, Romney leads Santorum, 43 percent to 22 percent, the Tribune reported.

Romney leads among those 50 and older, 37 percent to 29 percent. Those making more than $100,000 a year favor Romney, 42 to 27 percent, and those making less went for Santorum, 35 to 32 percent, according to the Tribune.

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