Front-runner Mitt Romney called the Illinois primary an ``extraordinary victory.''
The former Massachusetts governor won the contest with ease, defeating Rick Santorum and padding his delegate lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Romney spoke last night in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg.
Romney told supporters he believes in the American people and knows ``our future is brighter than these troubled times.''
Preliminary exit poll results showed Romney preferred by primary goers who said the economy was the top issue in the campaign. Exit polls also showed Romney was overwhelmingly favored by those who said an ability to defeat Obama was the quality they most wanted in a nominee.
Neither Newt Gingrich nor Ron Paul campaigned extensively in Illinois.