Mitt Romney won the Illinois primary on Tuesday night, widening the gap between him and his nearest rival Rick Santorum, and inching closer to the Republican presidential nomination.
Illinois, President Barack Obama’s home state, was expected to go to Romney, but that doesn’t take away anything from his decisive victory.
“It’s time to say enough (to Obama),” Romney said in a victory speech, focussing very much on the President as his rival, and not any of the other Republican hopefuls.
Romney’s message was simple: he, with his years of experience in business, would be better at solving the country’s economic problems than a professor of constitution (Obama).
In delegate counts, Romney is way ahead of the pack with 540, Santorum second with 239, Gingrich third with 137 and Ron Paul last with only 69.
The party ticket goes to whoever gets 1,144 delegates. The primaries and caucuses are about collecting delegates — winning a state brings bragging rights.
Pressure is mounting on the rest to get out of the way for Romney, who is way ahead also in terms of funds and organisational resources.
Obama’s Iran message
President Obama delivered his annual message to the Iranian people on Tuesday, using a far more confrontational tone than usual to say that he will seek ways to break through the “electronic curtain” that Tehran has thrown over the Internet. “I want the Iranian people to know that America seeks a dialogue to hear your views and understand your aspirations,” he said.