The Illinois primary is scheduled for March 20. According to CBS 2 Chicago Wednesday, a super PAC supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has already been running TV ads against former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in Chicago. Additionally, the station was told that Romney will campaign in the state for two days, while Santorum is set to campaign for three days.
Here's more information on this GOP contest in the Land of Lincoln.
* This is an open primary. It will take place from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.
* Some 69 delegates are at stake for the candidates.
* The Chicago tribune reported that 54 of those presidential nominating delegates are tied to Illinois' 18 congressional districts (three delegates in each district). Santorum has only filed 44 delegate contenders, while the other candidates filed the full slate of 54 delegates regarding the congressional districts.
* State residents who will be at least 18 years old by Election Day can register to vote, but they had to be registered to vote by February 21 to get full voting privileges, because registration closes "During the 27-day period just prior to an election," per the pamphlet "Registering to Vote in Illinois."
* Regarding "Grace Period" Registration and this primary, state law allows voters until March 13 to register to vote, but they must cast their votes upon registration, as reported by Suburban Life Publications/Addison Press.
* Voters who wish to apply for an absentee ballot by mail have to submit their requests to the Election Authority by March 15. In-person absentee voting requests end on March 19.
* Per the U.S. Census taken in 2010, 71.5 percent of the populace in Illinois is white, while Hispanics/Latinos make up the largest minority group with 15.8 percent. Some 12.6 percent of the state's residents live in poverty, below the national average of 13.8 percent.
* According to a Gallup poll taken in 2011, 35 percent of those surveyed in the state are Republicans or lean to the GOP party, while 49 percent of those polled are Democrats or lean to the Democratic Party.
* According to Democracy in Action's P2012, as of March 6, Romney has four endorsements from those in the state's congressional delegation. These include Reps. Robert Dold, Judy Biggert, and Aaron Schock. Additionally, Sen. Mark Kirk has endorsed the former Massachusetts governor.
* In 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain won the primary with 47.5 percent of the vote. Romney finished second with 28.6 percent support, while Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, finished fourth with five percent. The latter two are still in this current presidential race and will be vying for a win in the upcoming primary.