GOP presidential candidates eye Illinois

March 20, 2012 4:53:26 PM PDT
Republican frontrunner presidential candidate Mitt Romney remained in Chicago Tuesday as voters in the state of Illinois went to the polls.

Both Romney and Rick Santorum have been stumping in Illinois in recent days. Neither candidates Ron Paul nor Newt Gingrich campaigned extensively in the state. Romney will hold an event in Schaumburg after the Illinois Primary ends.

On Tuesday, Romney stopped by Google's Chicago headquarters as his only public Election Day appearance. There, he talked about one of his staple issues: detailing how he as president would begin to reverse provisions of the affordable care act that he and other critics call "Obamacare."

"Senator Santorum has the same economic lightweight background the president has," Romney said at one point. "We're not going to replace an economic lightweight with another economic lightweight."

On Monday, Romney spoke at University of Chicago.

On Monday night, Santorum held his final Illinois Primary campaign rally in East Peoria after sweeping the state. Santorum -- outspent 7 to 1 by Romney in the -- has returned to Pennsylvania where he will address supporters from Gettysburg.

Candidate Newt Gingrich spent Tuesday in Louisiana, where he hosted a meet and greet with his wife in Shreveport. Speaking to a crowd of about 200, Gingrich focused on energy policy and re-iterated his pledge to lower gas prices to $2.50 a gallon.

Also, candidate Ron Paul was at a luncheon at the Los Angeles Marriott in Burbank Tuesday afternoon. The Texas representative had picked up only 50 delegates by Tuesday's Illinois primary. Frontrunner Romney has secured 522; Santorum had 253; Gingrich has 136.

Obama camp watches GOP

David Axelrod, President Barack Obama's top political adviser, says Republican in-fighting is contributing to low voter turnout in primaries in Illinois and around the country.

"I don't worry that people are being seduced into the Republican camp because I don't think the Republicans have done anything to warrant that," David Axelrod, Obama political strategist, said.

The Obama re-election campaign, which is headquartered in Chicago, is taking nothing for granted.

"All this activity that you see in this room outside, all these volunteers are working because they understand that these elections, state-by-state, are going to be decided by a very few votes," Axelrod said.