Next Tuesday’s Republican primary in Illinois should be close, but recent polling gives Romney a modest edge over Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney currently holds a six point lead according to a new FOX Chicago News poll.
Romney had the support of 37 percent on Wednesday. Rick Santorum earned 31 percent of the vote.
Pollster We Ask America, based in Springfield, IL, contacted the 1,933 likely Republican voters who participated in our survey on Wednesday, accurate to within plus/minus 2.2 percentage points.
The third-largest group of voters chose Newt Gingrich at 14 percent, 10 percent were undecided and 8 percent voted for Ron Paul.
There has been very little of polling of the state but the Chicago Tribune poll from last week also found a very similar result with Romney at 35% and Santorum 31%.
It would be safe to assume Romney is the slight favorite in Illinois but Santorum has outperformed the polling in multiple contests this cycle. A Santorum upset is unlikely, but not outside the realm of possibility.
And to get this modest lead has seriously cost the Romney team. According to the Wall Street Journal, so far the Romney side outspent the Santorum side by a 5 to 1 margin on TV advertising in the state. Romney is still on track to eventually get the nomination but it is going to be a long, painful and resource-draining slog.