New polls give Romney edge in Illinois

By WEEK Producer

March 19, 2012 Updated Mar 20, 2012 at 9:06 AM CDT

Two new polls of likely Republican voters in Illinois have Mitt Romney taking a victory in the Tuesday primary election by 14 or 15 points.

The polls, by the Public Policy Polling Group and the American Research Group, have Romney winning 45 or 44 percent of the votes cast in Illinois GOP primary election.

Both polls pegged Rick Santorum at 30 percent of the vote, Newt Gingrich at 12 to 13 percent and Ron Paul at 10 or 8 percent of the total.

Public Policy Polls surveyed 506 likely GOP voters, while American Research Group surveyed 600.

While the public vote for the candidates is important in terms of popularity, primary voters are also casting ballots for delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Here, Romney could increase his lead over Santorum, since Santorum does not have a full slate of delegates running in all of the state's Congressional districts.

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