Not exactly a surprise given recent polls, but Mitt Romney has beaten Rick Santorum in the Illinois Republican primary. Exit polls suggest voters to Romney’s right went less overwhelmingly for Santorum than in other states and were matched about evenly by voters who thought Romney’s positions on the issues were just right. More to follow as returns come in.
UPDATE: Here is a good indicator of how things are different in Illinois than in the Deep South. Exit polls show that 35 percent of the primary voters were moderate or liberal. That’s smaller than the number that self-described as conservative, but equal to those who considered themselves somewhat conservative and larger than those who are very conservative. Romney won 46 percent of moderate to liberal voters and 52 percent of somewhat conservative ones. The very conservative voters went 48 percent for Santorum.