Politics

Romney Loses Illinois By Winning, Santorum Triumphant

Here is the story Romney’s camp glumly figures they’ll probably see tonight from a political press invested in keeping this primary alive. This is not a real news article.

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PEORIA, Ill. — Former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney eked out a single-digit nine-point victory in the Illinois Republican primary Tuesday night, losing among working class men, rural Evangelical senior citizens, and Franciscan friars while squeaking past his surging rival by a narrow margin in a state that is near the state in which he was born.

“We did it again!” said Senator Rick Santorum, surrounded by dozens of cheering supporters at a victory party in historic Gettysburg, Penn., as well as William Temple, the Tea Party icon often seen wearing a tricorn hat.

Echoing President Abraham Lincoln, Santorum noted the primary process was not about choosing the best candidate to defeat President Obama, but rather about “me, my ideas for the soul of who we are and what we are as a nation.”

To deafening applause, Senator Santorum lifted a piece of shale into the air and assured his supporters he would be the nominee, with a realistic anticipation that the election results in previous primary contests will be voided at the party’s convention in Tampa.

“This primary was another disaster for Romney,” said veteran Illinois political consultant David Axelrod. “The base of the Republican party lives in bomb shelters plotting the overthrow of the government. Romney simply is not getting those voters.”

Governor Romney’s other rival, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, spent the day in the National Arboretum with staff, plotting a course for future primary contests. Pressed by his remaining embeds on how he will compete in large states like New York, which votes April 24, a top Gingrich aide said his candidate was fully committed to the state.

“The tickets for the Hayden Planetarium are prepaid and non-refundable,” the aide said. “Rest assured, Newt will be in New York for the primary.”

Most analysts tracking the campaign believe this was another good night for the insurgent Santorum campaign, as Romney again failed to win the votes of several Tea Party members.

Said a top aide to Santorum, “If the Romney folks think they can beat Obama with moderates and swing voters, they don’t grasp what it takes to win elections.”

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