Mitt Romney got a much-needed victory in Illinois on Tuesday night, but his triumph is unlikely to change the dynamics of the GOP presidential primary.
CNN and Fox News projected Romney as the winner based on exit polling and early results about 40 minutes after the polls closed.
Recent polls had Romney leading in Illinois by double digits and, since he was expected to win, he’s unlikely to get much of a boost in momentum from his victory.
It is the first state the former Massachusetts governor has won in two weeks (he won the territory of Puerto Rico on Sunday), but the next contest favors Santorum, his main rival for the nomination.
Despite his demographic edge in Illinois, Romney took no chances in the state: He’s been stumping there since Friday and brought in top-level surrogates including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). He and the super-PAC supporting him combined to spend approximately $3.5 million in the state, seven times the total Santorum and his allies spent.