Mitt Romney won the Illinois primary by a double-digit margin, another up for him on the roller coaster ride that is his 2012 campaign for the Republican nomination. Romney thinks he is close, going after Barack Obama in his victory speech, and echoing that in an email to his supporters:

“Tonight’s win means we are that much closer to securing the nomination, uniting our party, and taking on President Obama,” the Republican front-runner wrote in a campaign email sent late Tuesday.

He urged the party to fall in line behind his bid, saying, “We are almost there.”

This was a no-doubt-about-it victory in a rust belt state, unlike the squeakers he won in Michigan and Ohio, and it will attract more of what drives the Romney machine – money.

As far as the other candidates go, Santorum will soldier on, and will probably win a few more races. Ron Paul did what Ron Paul does in states where he doesn’t have a high level of appeal, namely eight to twelve percent. Newt Gingrich bottomed out yesterday, finishing dead last on the heels of news his campaign has more debt than cash on hand and grumblings from peripheral staffers that bills aren’t getting paid.

No it is not over, but the fat lady is tuning up in the green room.

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