Romney Wins Illinois

DAVID ESPO STEVE PEOPLES Associated Press Published:

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) -- Front-runner Mitt Romney won the Illinois primary with ease Tuesday night, routing Rick Santorum in yet another industrial state showdown and padding his already-formidable delegate lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Romney triumphed after benefitting from a crushing advantage in the television advertising wars, and as his chief rival struggled to overcome self-imposed political wounds in the marathon race to pick an opponent to Democratic President Barack Obama.

Returns from 19 percent of the state's precincts showed Romney gaining 56 percent of the vote compared to 27 percent for Santorum, 9 percent for Ron Paul and 7 percent for Newt Gingrich.