Illinois victory helps bolster Romney's frontrunner status

Illinois victory helps bolster Romney's frontrunner status

POSTED: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 9:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 9:34pm

Is Mitt Romney finally on a roll?

It's finally starting to look that way after Romney took four times as many delegates as his chief rival Rick Santorum in Tuesday's pivotal Illinois primary.

Romney's 12 point Illinois win impressed big name Republicans and won him the endorsement of Jeb Bush, popular former governor of Florida, who said: "now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Governor Romney".

Rick Santorum tried spin the endorsement against Romney and position himself as the anti-establishment candidate, but his weak second place in Illinois may doom his campaign.

Romney may be the inevitable nominee, but critics still complain he is not electable.

"If you are the most electable you would have been elected by now," notes MSNBC political analyst and former GOP chairman Michael Steele. "The base would have recognized that electability."

Meanwhile, Romney took a hit from one of his own top aides who said once he's nominated he would shake up his conservative positions "like an Etch-a-Sketch" and start over in the fall to appeal to moderate voters.

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