21 Mar 2012

Romney cruises to victory

7:25 pm on 21 March 2012

Republican Mitt Romney has cruised to an easy victory over top rival Rick Santorum in Illinois, moving him one step closer to clinching the party's nomination for the presidential nomination.

Mr Romney's comfortable win gave him new ammunition for his argument that it is time for Republicans to rally around his campaign and end an increasingly bitter nominating battle.

With 95% of the votes counted, Mitt Romney had 47% and Rick Santorum 35%.

Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House of Representatives speaker, and libertarian congressman Ron Paul, lagged badly.