Was Illinois the turning point in the Republican race?
March 21st, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Was Illinois the turning point in the Republican race?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's just about over.

While Mitt Romney didn't score a knockout in Illinois, to borrow a boxing metaphor, but he landed enough blows that his opponents may soon be unable to answer the bell for the next round.

And it's a bit ironic that the Republican primary fight may have been decided in the Democratic president's home state.

Romney's win was impressive – double digits and, in just about every exit poll category that was measured, save evangelicals and very conservative voters.

Rick Santorum's showing was far from impressive. He got little support from beyond his base. But more importantly, he showed again he is incapable of winning a large midwestern state. And there simply are not enough Louisianas, Alabamas and Mississippis to get him to the nomination.

Newt Gingrich finished dead last. He has now gone from contender to curiosity to nobody cares. He's toast.

Ron Paul, who may have the best set of ideas for solving some of our big problems, has just not been able to connect with enough voters to make a difference.

Finally, if Romney goes on to win the nomination, the Republican voters will have settled for the moderate in the middle. Sort of what the vast majority of this country has always been about. And his victory will be a slap in the face to the Tea Party.

Romney's now looking past these tune-up fights toward the big title bout in November, and the rest of the country is starting to do the same.

Here’s my question to you: Was Illinois the turning point in the Republican race?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • Mitt Romney • Republican Party • Republicans
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. jk in MN

    Who knows/who cares. Mittens is not a good campaigner, Jack – he's very capable of inserting his foot in his mouth any time he wanders off the script.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  2. Elizabeth From Toronto

    I can't tell yah Cafferty, I have tuned out!

    March 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  3. Pete in Georgia

    Not sure. Not important. I know the Democrat Machine looks at this long protracted process as a double edged sword. The longer it continues the more blood is shed amongst the Republican candidates but also the longer it endures the more the unending spotlight of nothing but Republicans in the news, always front page stuff, news money can't buy.........................especially money most don't have enough of. This is truly driving the Democrats crazy. Crazy with envy. They would LOVE to have Romney annointed 4 months ago so they can start their engines on Demonize and Destroy, the mantra of their party.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  4. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Jack, I think it has to play out a little bit longer. There are a lot of people in the Republican Party that don't think Romney is a true conservative. There are just too many tapes and interviews of him saying the complete opposite of what he is preaching on the campaign trail today. One of the reasons Romney has a large lead in delegates is not because the Republican Party likes him. It is because Santorum keeps shooting himself in the foot.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  5. ImALibertarian

    From near Houston

    Since as far as I'm concerned, it's Ron Paul or nobody at all, nothing will change regardless of which major party candidate wins..

    March 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  6. Cathy in Illinois

    Considering no one really voted in Illinois, less than 30% did, not really- the ads he ran were ruthless and undeserving of a human being. Since when does money buy good manners? He is really pitifull.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  7. Bill of New Mexico

    Yes, I believe Romney will pull ahead.

    I was not looking forward to voting for Santorum in November.

    I still feel that Huntsman was the one that should be President.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  8. Bert in Los Angeles

    Hi Jack, no! These Republican primaries are like watching a series of Little League games. Let’s not make Illinois out to be the World Series; it only named the flavor of the week! So lets be easy on Team Newt and the others, besides, Mitt is like a ball glove that just doesn’t fit, is too stiff, keeps dropping the ball, and is a lefty- righty.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  9. Richard Texas

    Well it was the turning point in my stomach. The though of Romney actually winning the nomination is sickening. If this guy is the sharpest pencil in the republican party box they haven't a hope of winning.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  10. cathy in illinois

    Not really- considering no one voted- only 30% did-but alot of people didn't vote because of the campaign ads that both Romney and Santorun aired on TV – if only could buy them manners and dignity.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  11. Teri from Chattanooga, Tennessee

    I believe it's the beginning of the end for Rick Santorum. He along with Newt and Paul should wise up and drop out of the race. How many times do we (America) have to tell them we don't want them as President?

    March 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  12. tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    By his own account Rick Santorum has a weak stomach, so maybe so.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  13. Karl in Flint, MI

    Jack, for an event to be a turning point, it has to be recognized as such. The last four primaries have been turning points and have been ignored. This can only be a turning point if everyone agrees on it and a couple contenders drop out. Given the mentality of this pack of stooges, you will be asking this question all the way to the convention.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  14. Paul From Austin Texas

    No the race can change hands again. If it does the more chance of an open convention. I do not think Mitt can win Lousianna or Wisconsin. The game seems to want an open convention in Tampa to put anybody but Romney in the top spot.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  15. Jeff

    I think the turning point in the GOP race was when Romney started winning the majority of the primary sates and the delegates. Santorum might be giving him a hard time in the southern states but that's all he can do to hurt Mitt Romney.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  16. Lucie Sterling

    The citizens of Puerto Rico can vote in the presidential primary. What sense does that make if they are not permitted to vote in the presidential election? This is my first experience w/blog. Thank you.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  17. Riley, Seattle

    The Republican race for the presidential nomination has had more turning points than a porcupine dancing a jig. Bauchmann, Perry, Caine, and Santorum have all had their fling, Gingrich twice. ... Or was it thrice? Makes no matter. Now that Jeb Bush–second only to Chris Christie in his party's esteem–has come out for Romney, the jig is up. It's Romney's to lose now, come November.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  18. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    It was more Santorum's last chance. Ohio was the turning point. Of course, calling any event a turning point implies that Santorum ever had a chance or ran a real campaign. That is a heroic assumption. Real campaigns build organizations, so that if they win a caucus state they also put in a slate of county convention delegates to turn the win into something real. Most of Santorum's wins have no follow-up. He has about 100 fewer delegates than the press is reporting he has. Newt may have more – and Newt's campaign is long dead. Santorum's decision not to get a real campaign manager, real fundraisers and real staff on the ground was the turning point of the race.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  19. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    No. Santorum and Gingrich will keep this fight going untl the convention. There are super-egos at work here. And both of them want Romney to lose as much as they want Obama to lose.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  20. Paul - North Carolina

    Yes, I believe it was. And if Mitt winning the nomination is a slap in the face of the Tea Party then I'm all for it. Those people, especially the ones in Congress need to be slapped soundly and often. That's the only way to get this country back on the road to reality. But don't think for a minute that means I want Romney to win in November. This country just might not withstand another disaster of that magnitude. The campaign should be very amusing though, as Flip-Flop Mitt tells an even bigger lie every day to cover for the one he told yesterday. It should be a barrell of laughs.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  21. kim smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    Just because Romney is the least of Republican evils, doesn't mean he is qualified for the "Main Event". He lacks all the moves and conditioning that the reigning champ posseses, has a glass jaw (Mormon), and wears magic underwear for protective gear. I predict this poser will be kissing canvas before he knows what hit him.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  22. cathy in illinois

    No because no one voted here

    March 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  23. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    There have been so many turning points in the Republican primary race. There have been multiple turning point front runners starting with Michelle Bachmann, then Sara Palin, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and then Mitt Romney again. November 2012 will be the true turning point in the Republican race for the White House.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  24. Loren

    Romney has been the Republican candidate for President since he entered the race, Illinois is at best icing. While I voted for Romney, I was not happy that the Republican Party was unable to field a better moderate to head their ticket. That being said, Romney, for all his flaws, is less flawed than President Obama, particularly in matters of the economy and government, so I just hope that Romney can overcome his propensity to open mouth, insert foot that he has shown too many times during this campaign.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

    Yes, Jack, there was a big green sign with white letters on the Illionois primary turnpike that said, "Gingrich and Santorum EXIT NOW!"

    March 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  26. Doug Ericson

    Hah! All ye of little faith. Don't chu know that God is Rick's corner man, and this nomination is far from over. So Romney won Mobsterville, and with a dwindling percentage as the night wore on. So whatsly. Now, by the grace of God, Rick has been given a whole new life. Just when Mitt thought he had it made disaster strikes again. George and Jeb, oh no, say it aint so. Please not that now. Yes, George and Jeb Bush have endorsed Mitt Romney. Say good bye to the nomination Mitt. Rick will get 70% of the vote Saturday in Louisiana thanks to George and Jeb. Rick may win the rest of the States. Thank You George Bush. Now its time for your milk and cookies. Nap nap time. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  27. Susan NJ

    You would think so but in American elections there is no telling remember the picture of Truman holding up the newspaper headline "Dewey Wins" after he was elected President? All he has to do is pick the righ running mate. JFK could not carry the south so we had LBJ.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  28. Gary in San Jose, California

    I don't think so Jack. It looks like Mitt is about to get his hat handed to him in Louisiana. He has trouble in the south and a bunch of southern states to go in this race. Also, how many republicans are there in Illinois? Aren't Chicago republicans in the endangered species list?

    March 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  29. Jenna Roseville CA

    Was Illinois the turning point in the Republican race?

    Only in Willard's dreams. The other three candidates are taking it all the way to the convention.

    Roseville CA

    March 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  30. John from Alabama

    Jack: It was a good victory for Mitt Romney, and yes it was not just a punch to the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party it spells doom for them. I realize Mitt Romney did well, but he is not exciting, and he is not smart. He is really rich, and that will help him pay for attack ads, but the rank and file of the Repiublican Party will not come up with the money. President Barrack Obama will have money, smarts, and Michelle Obama by his side. I believe Obama will win with 2% more votes than Romney.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  31. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Yes, this appears to be Romney's turning point but may be a major turning point for America as we may be turning around and going back to the pre 2009 policies that got us in so deep to begin with, like two wars that weren't paid for, tax cuts for the super rich and deregulating clean air so we'll be more like China. Oh, and don't forget, he wants to do away with the minimum wage, ouch.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  32. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    The media, you included make this a big mystery everyday. Is this the end? is this the new beginning, who will drop. Take a breath, give this a break and realize its either a brokered convention or MItt is it. If he keeps putting that big foot in his small mouth, broker is the answer. I do believe the media just wants to keep stirring this to have stories that last through Tampa. Cant we discuss other issues?

    March 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  33. diridi

    He is going to be Front-runner, but hard to win with Obama. true, South does not vote for him, nor Evangelicals.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  34. Dave, Orlando, FL

    No, there was never a turning point and there won’t be either. The Romulan was always going to be the nominee from the beginning and nothing has changed since the first hat was thrown into the ring. Unfortunately, the only two candidates with rational, reasonable and good ideas will never be president: Jon Huntsman, because he dropped out; and Ron Paul, because the American electorate, 100 million strong, are a bunch of idiots, fools and morons who insist on voting against their own best interests.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  35. james in greenville nc

    Yes, Jack, that was it. We built everyone up to a crescendo and now we have a candidate. Of course we may allow Newt and Rick to shine a few more minutes before the final vote. It is all about the show. You sell the sizzle, not the steak. For our last hooray we will have all the candidates from Cain to Bachmann and right on down to Mitt......we will have all of them pile out of a little car like in the circus. The Dems are laughing now but wait until November. Someone will be laughing then. Only we do not know who it will be.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  36. Conor in Chicago

    So long as there is no controversy over delegates Romney will be the nominee. I think the religious right is simply voting their beliefs right now but know deep down that someone like Santorum simply won’t sit with the US voters in the general. Perhaps he would have had a chance had their never been a George W Bush. However, I think even people who don’t like Obama much would prefer a second term instead of another Right Wing President who aims to impose the 19th Century on us. Romney is their best choice, which, despite Obama’s many faults, should scare Republicans.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  37. Gigi Oregon

    It should have been but the Republican party members never take NO for an answer. I, not so secretly, hope Ron Paul goes to the end and then some. Even though I still plan to cast my conservative vote, this time, for President Obama. Ron Paul's message is truly the salvation for the American dream. His message to return the United States back to the "founding fathers" dream, which they fought and died for.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  38. Jeff In Minnesota

    You would like to think so, but Senator Santorum and Speaker Gingrich think otherwise and will slog it out to the very bitter end.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  39. Pete in Florida

    Actually, the turning point was several months ago, when all the top Republican poliiticians who would have had a decent chance of winning decided not to run. Jeb Bush, where are you???

    March 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  40. ken, atlantic city, nj

    I hope so. It is time for the southern christian fundamentalists to get real. Banning condoms, gay marriage, abortions, and teaching of evolution will not provide one job, reduce the foreclosure problem, or reduce the 16 trillion dollar federal debt.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  41. Brad, Portland, OR

    Under normal circumstances, I'd agree with you that the also-rans would be dropping out of the race by now.

    But with the stupid Supreme Court decision that authorized Super PACs, a candidate with poor support and no money coming in from regular people can go on indefinitely if he has a rich backer or two to fund his Super PAC.

    I wouldn't be surprised if all the remaining candidates hung on until the convention, and tried to cut a deal with Romney for the Vice Presidency or a cabinet post in exchange for avoiding a convention fight.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  42. Michael From CT

    From an Independent point of view I see Mitt Romney as a phony and a flip flopper because he has no convictions, he says whatever he thinks people want to hear at the time, and he changes his political positions like the wind. In otherwords Mitt Romney stands for nothing. Can't the Republicans do better than this?

    March 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  43. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: I think the Illinois race just add another nail to Santorum's political coffin--in fact--it might have been the final political nail.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  44. Jim, Denver CO


    Either way the turn is, it is a wrong turn. The GOP keeps making wrong turns and ticking off its voters (on both sides). They should just conceed now.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  45. mathias.

    Republicans better brace themselves for the inevitable.Romney all the way.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  46. curtis in philadelphia

    I hope not Jack, as far as TV goes, this Republican primary race has been curious viewing, sort of the Jersey Shore for intellectuals, with Newt Gingrich as Snooki. How I love watching trains wreck.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  47. Mark from New Jersey

    Yeah, Jack. Some turning point. Now that Romney is the presumptive nominee, based on the smallest Illinois primary turnout in a hundred years, according to one of his advisers he can turn himself upside down like an Etch-A-Sketch and change all his positions so that he can start start saying anything he thinks might get him elected. He has no core beliefs, no morals, no ethics, and should have no chance to get elected President, except the American people have no memory, and will believe anything that they heard five minutes ago.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  48. Ray in Knoxville

    It is not over, Jack, not with the egos of the men involved, plus, there are still plenty of states left where the Tea Party will have a say as well (Texas, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, to name a few) not to mention Mitt's tendancy to shoot himself in the foot (this time with an Etch A Sketch.)

    March 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  49. John from Santa Maria, CA

    Super-Pacs. Romney will come out of the primarys as the best politician money has bought. Not a turning point more like a turning stomach.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  50. andy Lynn, MA

    I do not believe that Illinois was any kind of turning point. I am positive that there will be many more turning points in this inane, melodramatic, Republican primary process. As long as the TV ratings remain high, the Sugar-daddies continue to throw their personal wealth into the ever increasing PAC ads, the American public is not projectile retching on their flat screen televisions and any Republican voter still cares, this farce will continue ad nauseum. Are we actually viewing the primary process in the United States or a third world country?

    March 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  51. Jennifer

    I think so. I think its time for Rick and Newt to drop out so GOP can come together

    March 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  52. Craig from Georgia

    This is hardly a turning point. With Newt and Saint Rick refusing to go away, the republikkkans simply keep providing comedy for this tragedy. This is not a turning point.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  53. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    I don't know if Illinois was a turning point in the Republican race , but yesterday was certainly a turning point for Jack when Mr. Personality himself commented that he wished that some of Michelle Obama's appealing and attractive personality traits would rub off onto President Obama. As we all know Jack is Mr. Personality personified.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  54. Gina

    I live in Alabama and voted for Santorum. His economic ideas were the biggest reasons I gave him my support. I am very much in favor of cutting taxes on manufacturing. With all the "Tax the Rich" mentality we have in our country, it's refreshing to hear that some people do still support the American Dream of working to produce goods (expecially if those goods have a market in the global economy and could be exported). Business owners take a huge risk when they invest their resources into a factory, mill, etc. That, in turn, employs hundreds or even thousands of American workers- the "Middle Class", who EVERY single politician claims to champion. Lastly, I have to agree wholeheartedly with your comment about Ron Paul having some of the best ideas for solving America's biggest problems. His wisdom and level headed reasoning impress me greatly. However, as you pointed out, he did have difficulty connecting with the public. He was so far behind by the time Alabama had our primary, a vote for him would have been pointless. But maybe, should Romney become the next President, he would have the good sense to appoint Mr. Paul to his cabinet.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  55. Berylene in Los Alamos NM

    The turning point was when Rick Santorum said he didn't care about the unemployment rate. He handed over the nomination at that moment. Talk about your king-maker...

    March 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  56. Brenda - Duluth, GA

    No, Romney still has "NO GAME". He will not win in the Nov 2012 elections. He is always talking "silly". The GOP leadership is forgetting they can not win without independents, Latino vote and the young voters between 18-28.. The sad part they are forgetting about the Black community. President Obama will win a 2nd term.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  57. John Lake Charles, LA

    I sure hope so Jack. I've had enough of this circus to last me a lifetime.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  58. Carolyn

    No. Rick Santorum thinks God has chosen him to run and until he completely runs out of money and is forced to drop out, he will be out there spewing his 17th century drivel. Newt is so ego driven, he'll have to break a leg to get out of the race.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  59. southernwonder

    Jack, there are no turning points in the Republican race until they come around Dr. Ron Paul's ideas. It matters little who of the three gets to order the army to attack Iran and ruin our recovery.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  60. Frank Poynton Los Angeles

    I wouldn't say it was "the" turning point in the Republican race, but rather one of many turning points. Unless Romney straps his dog to the roof of his car again he will be the nominee. The Tea Party will acquiesce after Mitt shows them all how to play with an Etch-A-Scetch.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  61. southernwonder

    Jack, there are no turning points in the Republican race until they come around Dr. Ron Paul's ideas. It matters little who of the three gets to order the army to attack Iran and ruin our recovery.

    Houston, Texas

    March 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  62. Mike

    Maybe for the media it was a turning point. Now they are gonna have less he said she said. I wonder what other gossip or scandal they are going to invent.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  63. REGinAZ

    It really isn’t pro-Democrat but rather actually is being anti-Republican / Tea Party. The deficit, taxes, government spending and too large of a government are all valid concerns ... but they really are not what caused the problems ... and the abundant propaganda that constantly says otherwise is the distraction aimed to allow a return to “more of the same”. The problems the majority (99%) are suffering have been caused by the constant exploitation by “the few” (1%), encouraged by self-serving politicians who cater to “the money” for their strong support. Lost jobs, the depressed economy and the repeated crises (savings and loans, banks, dot.coms, financial, mortgage and investment industries as well as corporate corruption, like Enron, and industrywide failures) all are the real result of “the few” taking advantage, when being encouraged by excessive deregulation, lax enforcement, no oversight and favorable policies facilitating run-away greed, gross dishonesty and self-indulgence ... and rationalizing it as “conservative” doesn’t ease the pain for the majority. Should the voters fail to understand or even ignore that, then they will effectively have been conned and manipulated into supporting a return to “more of the same”, Bush-Cheney style, with that further pushing America into being a two-class society with “the few” continuing to feed their insatiable “more” appetite while the majority struggles to survive. Find fault with the imperfect Democrats but just don’t support the costly exploitation by “the few”, allowed when politicians are “puppets” for the powerful, influential and very wealthy who “pull their strings” – as that is totally self-defeating.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  64. Karen, Idaho

    Illinois was just another divided race between Romney and Santorum. The turning point is the endorsement of Romney by Jeb Bush and what will really energize the Republicans is to make Jeb Bush the Vice Presidential nominee. That gives them a respected name on the ticket and a Presidential candidate down the road.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  65. David of Alexandria VA

    Geez, I hope so, Jack. This country has a lot of real issues not just to get back to the 2008 starting line but to navigate through the challenges of the next many years. Ou incumbent has not had all, some or any of the real answers to this. The sooner we get ourselves, our media, and the "real" candidates addressing the real issues, the sooner we can figure out how to get out of this mess and with whom. God and birth control will outlast our economy. I suggest we focus on what really matters.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  66. z from loudoun county, va

    the turing point will be when the media can finally give ron paul honest coverage and during the convention when it becomes brokered and Ron paul wil have more delegates than they think he has. The only dude obama is scared to mention or be in the same room with.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  67. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Illinois may have been an important victory for Romney psychologically, but it's not really surprising to most of us. Another thing that isn't surprising, though, is the fact that one of his spokesmen stepped on the victory by saying Romney is like an Etch a Sketch and will just erase and reset his positions for the general election. Such is life in the Romney candidacy. Good luck with all that.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  68. David

    I hope so... I'm exhausted and its only half time.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  69. Mr D

    A lot of the "blows" Mitt has landed have been below the belt. He is probably winning on rounds since his competition hasn't been that good. He better look out in the late rounds and be worried that an unknown contender will emerge from a brokered convention and grab the victory.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  70. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Things are about to get interesting, Jack, as Mittens tries to backpedal some of the extreme right-wing positions he has taken and has to run against the actual Obama rather than the fictional one he's made up. Turning point, indeed!

    March 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  71. Ken from California

    The turning point was when the PAC's turned to their wallets for Romney, so now the GOP can now turn to November.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  72. Romney The Flip Flopper

    No one knows if that is true or not, Santroum can still blow Romney till they get to the convention. People in the news like to feel smart and ask the same question after every primary.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  73. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack, back in January you and the rest of the media were saying that Romney had it all wrapped up with his "win" in Iowa, the GOP had crowned their king, the rest of the candidates could go home now. Romney's "win" in Iowa turned out to be a win for Santorum, and of the states he has won, he hasn't convinced the radicals, the evangelicals, the "true" conservatives that he's their man. So, no, I don't think yesterday's primary in Illinois is the turning point in the republican race. There are still a number of states, big states with lots of delegates, that haven't held their primaries yet. The longer the race goes on, the more we the voters see who the candidates really and truly are–men who don't give a you-know-what about the poor, about women, about the unemployed. Each one is trying to outdo the others to prove just how nutty-radical reactionary conservative he can be, and like a horror movie, they're scaring Independents like me and even moderate members of both parties. I'm not thrilled with President Obama, but he looks smarter, saner, calmer, and more reasonable everyday.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  74. Steve Wilton

    Ron Paul is doing very well in the delegate process. None of the MSM is reporting correct delegate totals as many delegates have yet to be won. It is way to early to just give it to Mitt. It will go to a brokered convention where anything can happen.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  75. Terry

    It probably is the turning point. And probably for the best if you are a Republican. Now maybe the Republicans, Independants, and disgruntled Dems. can turn their attention and energy to the real problem in this country,OBAMA.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  76. Tom Jones

    Unless Romney falls on his face (or an affair is conveniently revealed) Illinois will indeed be the turning point.

    In the end, who cares? They look like a gang of pickpockets, and Romney outdoes even Joe Biden in his impression of a used car salesman.

    None of these self nominated "Republicans" is running on a platform that means anything to moderate conservatives like myself, and when Romney shows his true colors debating Obama, all of us "republicans" are going to go home, lock the doors, and not answer the phones for the next fours years of Obama's presidency.

    "You think healthcare is expensive now? Wait till it's free!"

    March 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  77. ren

    Not a turning point, just showed nobody in Illinois really cared, considering the low turn out. My devout Republican friend from Illinois said he didn't bother voting as he wasn't interested in any of them. The Tea Party should take their party and go home, they are spoilers.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  78. Ellen Johnson

    Yes, Illinois was the turning point. Santorum is starting to sound hysterical and Newt is lumbering around like an old dinosaur. Romney will take it from here.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  79. Pam from Texas

    In a way but not really. As long as Gingrich and Santorum (and Paul to a degree) are splitting the far right vote it's a difficult win for Romney either way. The "etch-a-sketch" quote from the Romney camp this morning fits the quandry for the Republican voters thus far. My son was watching CNN at lunch today and listening to a Romney quip and called him a "Robot". So true – and to say that Illinois has sealed the deal – well, don't you think the voters are getting screwed either way?

    March 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  80. Dave

    Dave from WV

    In my opinion, Romney has been the presumptive nominee all along, no matter what other flash in the pan candidate the media was promoting each week. Illinois was not so much a turning point as a confirmation of what most have known all along.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  81. azmomx3

    If Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are truly about turning around America and are not about themselves, they will make a speedy exit from this race. It is high time for those who no longer want President Obama in the White House to rally around the front runner, namely Mitt Romney. He has the experience, vision, and passion for America's greatness to lead this country to a brighter future.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  82. Katy Heys

    Mitt was always going to be the GOP nominee. How he does against Obama is another story. The GOP has alienated: women, Blacks, Hispanics and Muslims. Further, why Americans would vote back into office the same group of folks that trashed this country for 8 years is the big question. Paul Ryan's new proposed House budget, if passed, is a plan where the rich pay less in taxes than they do now, among other issues, it supports slashing Medicaid and food stamps and trashing Medicare ad it tells me that Republicans are tone deaf. I am a Republican who is going to vote for Barack Obama. Dwight D. Eisenhower couldn't get the nomination today.

    Tampa, Florida

    March 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  83. todd in DC

    RMoney isn't much of a moderate. He flipped so many of his views (Gay pride changed to willing to sign a Constitutional Amendment outlawing marriage equitity, pro choice became pro life, went from accepting evolution to believing in creationism, pro Romneycare to anti Obamacare) that no one knows how he would govern.

    Santorum is an extremist, but at least he's a consistent one.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  84. Jim D.

    Hopefully so as time is running out and the GOP needs to get behind one candidate. This internal bickering is only helping Obama at this point.

    Romney needs the full support of the entire GOP party to mount an effective attack against the Obama loggerhead which at this point is pretty strong. Anyway you cut it Obama is going to be a tough match unless something drastic were to happen.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  85. Tony (Detroit, MI)

    Rick Santorum never really had a shot. He appeals mainly to social conservatives, but this election isn't about social issues. It's about the wayward state of our economy and who is best suited to fix it. Mitt Romney has more credibility in that area based on his business experience. If the country's top priorities related to social issues than Santorum might stand a chance, but like most general elections the economy takes center stage and that's not his forte.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  86. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Jack, I don't think its a turning point, especially when Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich remain in the race as spoilers. That same line was spoken before Super Tuesday and we all seen how that went. This is simply another primary that was hotly contested between Romney and Santorum. I say let's put all four in a wrestling match against each other, with the winner to take on Obama. That'll decide things quick.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  87. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Probably, but Pope Santorum will go down a scratchin' and a clawin' to the bitter end. He will hope to have some major influence on the Repugnicants platform/presidential campaign. He hopes to extract at least a pledge to continue the assault on Roe V Wade. Also, he wants to position himself as a viable choice in 2016 if Romney gets roundly trounced in 2012.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  88. Nancy, Tennessee

    Mitt Romney probably didn't wipe the smile off his face before he went to bed last night. He's got this one in the bag. In the south we have a saying for Rick Santorum, "it's time to head for the house. It's suppertime." He worked hard in the fields, but his crop doesn't win first place.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  89. Tom

    Yes, Jack it is the turning point. It's time for Gingrich and Santorum to put the mission first (defeating Obama) and exit the race with class.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  90. Jim/Simi Valley, Ca

    Jack: There isn't any turning point for any of the four Republicans hopefull. The best canidate is still not coming forward and you can't blame him or her, considering what being presented as possible representatives for this country's highest office.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  91. Thomas CA

    What turning point? Even before the first ballot was cast I knew Romney would be the Republican candidate. The Republicans have just been struggling to find a replacement because they dont believe he can beat Obama.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  92. barbara in nc

    Guess it depends on how many republicans and democrats have an "etch-a-sketch" type mind. (Poof – everything gone).

    My mind doesn't work that way - I like to fire people, betcha $10,000, I'm not worried about the poor, Corporations are people my friend, etc. --– POOF - Mitt is gone.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  93. David from Webster, NY

    Laugh all you want people! You may think it's funny now but
    if an asteroid were on course to strike Earth, who would you want as President?
    I'll take the moonbase as a first line of defense!
    Scientist say is a matter of when and not if!
    Without the big ideas, there would be no future for our children.
    The whole world would be doomed!

    Newt 2012 or goodbye Earth!

    March 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  94. Matt, Washington, DC

    Romney's win in Illinois gives him a good base to springboard into Wisconsin in April, and it geographically wedges Santorum's support into the plains states and some of the southeast. The fact that Romney has now won all three rust belt primaries, and Illinois convincingly, proves that his economic message is resonating better with the moderate Republicans and independents who are going to decide this election than Santorum's social message. Santorum will probably pick up Louisiana on Saturday, and maybe Kentucky, Nebraska, or West Virginia further down the line, but I think it's pretty clear that Romney has the organization and the ability to win in Democratic-leaning and swing states, which should bode well for him with the electorate in the remaining contests, and with the unpledged delegates who could ultimately decide the Republican nominee in Tampa.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  95. RickFromDetroit

    It appears that the only turning point in politics anymore is when the campaign funds run out. The candidates will vacation around the country as long as their supporters are willing to pay for it.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  96. Wayne


    The way this race has gone, I think not. There is no definitive turning point. We are indelibly, inexorably moving to the sad day where another super rich detached guy will get the Republican nomination. He will spend the next 8 months showing how he is normal, much to the disgust of both the left and the right.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  97. Jared Collins

    For intents and purposes, yes. Illinois was the turning point. This was a huge win for Romney. His delegate lead can not be overcome. Getting the endorsement of Jeb Bush after the win in Illinois was icing on the cake.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  98. Dr. Steven Watkins


    As much as a Democratic would love for it to go on, it is pretty much over. If Romney is a close second or wins in Louisiana, then the argument has been settled. The part I am waiting for is the slice and dice job the President, but more especially Vice-President Biden will do on Governor Romney. When the two of them get through cutting him to shreds over not willing to settle for a $10 reduction for every $1 raised in taxes and over "how" the auto bailout was a failure, Mitt Romney will enter the hallowed halls of stupid Presidential candidates Hall of Shame. The Republicans are toast!!

    March 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  99. Tyler

    Kingston, New York
    Probably, Mitt Romney the only Republican Candidate left who is even somewhat rational. His views that are criticized by crazy conservatives are actually what the country needs. However, Obama is still the only
    hope America had left.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  100. Jared Collins

    For intents and purposes, yes. Illinois was the turning point. This was a huge win for Romney. His delegate lead can not be overcome. Getting the endorsement of Jeb Bush after the win in Illinois was icing on the cake.

    from Naples, Italy

    March 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  101. harry bohms

    I do not think Illinois wraps it up. I think we need to wait for Texas, Pennsylvania, New York and Florida. I am in Wisconsin. If/when Romney gets to 75-80% of required delegates, then call it a win. We the people need more time to watch all of Romney's changes in rhetoric. He is (like all politicians) a chameleon.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  102. OBDAG63 in Appleton, WI

    As far as I'm concerned Illinois was the final straw for Newt Gingrich. I'm puzzled that he can continue to campaign even though I doubt he has much funding coming in. I think he should face the writing on the wall and call it quits. He should be smart enough to figure this out by himself but obviously can't since he actually doesn't have a brain in his head. Maybe he could find the time to have some quality time with his wife if he simply quit and went home. Clearly his message is not what voters want to hear.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  103. Ken in NC

    At the rate the Republican Party and it's members have been self destructing, everyday is a "Turning Point".

    March 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  104. Melissa

    Not really. They scraped the bottome of the barrel to get what we've been seeing. Does it matter who wins the GOP race? No, President Obama will win anyway. (I hope)

    March 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  105. Scott Bornstein

    No Jack, Illinois is just a punctuation mark, a comma at that. Florida could have been the turning point if it hadn't changed it's primary date. There is passion on one side, and passion on the other, and the folks who will decide the election sit firmly in the middle. The middle of the country and the middle of the political spectrum. Illinois advanced Governor Romney toward his likely nomination, but Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum provided him the turning points, the same ones that will turn him directly away from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Thanks guys!

    March 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  106. paul h

    true republicans want no part of romney or jeb bush....when the country finally realizes candidates endorsed by goldman sachs and the rest of the wall street crook banksters have no interest in the peoples needs we can have a true democracy....until then hope is at its lowest rating ever....1 in 2 now live in poverty....obama sure did fundamentally change America, oh yeah and he was goldman's poster child in 08....don't you people see the pattern yet!?!?!? WAKE UP AMERICA!

    March 21, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  107. Mandy

    I think the GOP has finally listened to the majority of America. The Tea Party and the extreme right has no chance of winning the White House. The GOP knows it needs Independents and Middle Americains and it's time to brand the GOP to the masses.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  108. Julie from Louisiana

    I really hope it's over and Romney can start critizing Obama like he did last night. Great speech! It's time for all republicans to get together and do something to defeat the "messiah". I am a member of the Tea Party and I can definitely support Romney. From the beginning, it's been "Anybody but Obama"!

    March 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  109. George, Arlington, VA

    It's a turning point alright, time to turn back into a moderate in time for the race againnst Obama.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  110. Mike

    As a long-time republican, I say it's about time the tea party got a good slap in the face. They have been a horrible influence on this party. The republican party needs to be more moderate, not less. This drive to ensure party purity by the tea party is what is hurting the party the most. There needs to be more room for compromise and diverse ideas within the party, and less of a requirement to tow the party line on each and every issue, or to oppose whatever is proposed by a democrat simply because they suggested it.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  111. Dr Jeffrey Thompson

    Sorry Jack, In my opinion the turning point happened when the Republican Party rolled out this carnival sideshow of contenders for the Presidency of the United States of America (with the exception of Ron Paul – who i consider to actually be an independent in disguise). I mean REALLY! is this the best that the Republican Party can come up with?! I suggest the whole party fold up the tables and go home.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  112. Doug, in Mexico City

    The answer to Jack's question is a resolute yes. In fact, the writing has been visible on the wall for quite some time.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  113. Bob (Wilmington, DE)

    Yes Jack. Just keeping it simple and to the point...

    March 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  114. Tom Barrister

    The turning point of the nomination was when Romney entered the race. Money talks in politics.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  115. Jennifer in Houston

    Jack.. who cares? this Primary is a farce with low budget actors. Not one is POTUS material. And besides why in the world would we want to go back to the same old failed Republican policies that sunk the economy? Obama.. 4 more years, 4 more years.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  116. Jim Charlotte NC

    Hard to say whether it is or not. Conservatives are a crazy bunch. All one has to do is look at the Middle East. They aren't the majority but they are still able destroy everything for everybody else.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  117. Shipwrecked

    It's not over yet Jack. Ron and Mitt have both got money issues to work out and the guys in the middle can just get out now. the clocks running.......

    March 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  118. F. Motlani

    If, by turning point, you mean the other candidates will turn around and leave? Not likely. With expansive egos that are analagous to their net worth, these candidates will, in the words of Gingrich: "take the fight all the way to the convention".

    March 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  119. dan

    No Jack i don't think so. this race has been quit amusing though.


    March 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  120. Frank from New Orleans

    The Republicans better turn to 2016, cause 2012 is over with. None of these bozo's can beat Obama, and by the time it's down to one of them, they'll have beaten each other up so much there won't be much left for Obama to hammer on.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  121. Alesia

    Romney may win the nomination, but I believe his selection would be based on a "he's better than the alternatives" nomination. Romeny has yet to exhibit qualities that would connect with middle class voters. He's seriously out of touch, and his boasts of Wall Street experience should scare most Americans. After all, it was the residents of Wall Street and their greed that launched the country into the biggest recession since The Great Depression. Never having been a member of the 99%, how could he ever sympathize with and genuinely want to provide care and help to those folks?

    March 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  122. Mark in Pflugerville, TX

    Illinois certainly has pointed out that the house lights are on and the fat lady is getting ready to come on stage. The only people who don't realize that are Gingrich, Santorum and Paul.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  123. F. Motlani; Michigan

    If, by turning point, you mean the other candidates will turn around and leave? Not likely. With expansive egos that are analagous to their net worth, these candidates will, in the words of Gingrich: "take the fight all the way to the convention".

    March 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  124. Michael Hall

    Probably not THE turning point, but a significant tightening of the screw.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  125. becky, Las Vegas

    There have been so many turning points that I'm at the point I'm dizzy and want to throw up. Can't we just move on?

    March 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  126. Benjamin

    From Stanford Kentucky

    Jack, that depends who your asking mitt Romney will say this was but the others will say different. But thats the way its always been.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  127. Bill from Maine

    I don't know about all that but I heard sales for Etch A Scetch is up in conservative republicans households!

    March 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  128. dori

    If your grading the nominee's using the curve scale teachers sometimes employ yes. But not if the repubs wake up and realize what a mess things are nationally for them. Besides how much of a win is it, if what you have to spend to get that nod, and if primary voter turnout was factored in. Sorry state of affairs imo.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  129. Jim

    It might have been, had his campaign not made the "etch-a-sketch" comment. Now voters are left wondering WHO they voted for; a candidate willing to say anything to get elected, or a candidate that ACTUALLY has core convictions. If the GOP's endgame is not about helping the country, but simply about defeating Obama, then maybe the GOP realizes that they have to coalesce around someone (anyone), and Romney is their best shot.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  130. Mike in Pekin

    The phrase "turning point" evokes a change in direction. Mitt Romney has been the one constant in theis republican race, steadily maintaining and widening his lead over his competitors since New Hampshire. The only turning point is everyone is finally realizing what was apparent from the beginning.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  131. Robert O. Kan, Baltimore

    WHO CARES? After the nonsense all these candidates have spewed forth, the zillions of dollars they have spent that could have been better used to feed hungry kids in some African country ( thanks to the Supreme Court) we can look forward to a second term for OBama!

    March 21, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  132. Joan

    I think so Jack. Sadly, if he ever gets in the WH world leaders will be blowing themselves up when they hear he is coming for a visit.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  133. K.Peezy

    The Illinois primary was absolutely the turning point. From here on out, this race, for Romney at least, is about fine tuning his message for the general election. For Santorum, it should be about mending fences and winding down the campaign, but iinstead, it will be about forcing some kind of pyrrhic victory. Both he and Gingrich cannot fathom a world were they are second to Romney in the eyes of the electorate.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  134. Brian Wickremasinghe - Woodland Hills

    Looks like it was. All this will be null and void in November.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  135. Gary in Akron

    Probably not if Newt and Ron Paul elect to stay in the race. That may just lead to a brokered convention. If that transpires, all bets are off.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  136. r.landschoot

    no! If he's best this country can find we're in trouble, Of course we were allready anyway.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  137. Robert

    Yes, I do believe Illinois WAS a turning point. It's pretty much a done deal. If I was a financial backer of either the Santorum or Gingrich campaigns, I would have to ask myself whether I wanted to flush any more money away on a lost cause.
    Logan, Utah

    March 21, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  138. Dianna

    The turning point will be this year's election. Every candidate's wife says that her husband will be the next President of the United States.. if we have 3 presidents, that will be the turning point.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  139. Bill

    I think it was a turning point, but the other candidates are not going to give up which is actually a good thing for America. Personally, I am not sold on any of them being better than Obama. Shame the democrats don't have another choice. But I already decided I trust Obama more than the four remaining republicans to support the middle class. This should be a message to the republican party's so called tea party congressmen, but they will never get it until they are voted out in 2 more years. All these ridiculous bills coming out of congress does not help the republican presidential candidates. The Ryan bill is terrible. If these guys can't tweek the existing social security and health care systems by regulation of high costs to those systems, they need to be replaces ASAP.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  140. Steve in Houston

    I don't know if it was the turning point as much as the point when everybody finally realized that Romney is the guy for good. Romney has been called the front-runner from the start, and people are now finally grasping that fact – he is our nominee. The talk that he is not conservative enough to get the full support of the GOP is bull – what are the evangelicals and tea-bags going to stay home? I think we can count on people (at least 57% based on the latest obama un-favorability poll) to get out and vote Romney – in fact, let's start counting the November Romney votes, hmmmm, let's see – there's Santorum and Gingrich and Paul and Cain and Perry and Huntsman and Bachman and Pawlenty and Palin and...

    March 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  141. Randall from Red Bank, NJ

    You bet it did, especially with those other two guys taking 17% of the vote. Clearly a decisive win (enabled) by competition.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  142. Ken, Centreville VA

    The Republican race has no turning point. The light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train (wreck).

    March 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  143. Evan

    No, Illinois will not be any turning point. The long slog will continue; this primary season is not about momentum as much as it is about Romney's Mormon faith and the ultra-conservatives' opposition to it.

    Norwalk, CT

    March 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  144. Dianna of Willoughby, Ohio

    The turning point will be this year's election. Every candidate's wife introduces her husband as the next President of the United States.. if we have 3 presidents to look forward to, that will be the turning point.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  145. Mayflower

    As an independent voter, I will be happy to have at least one moderate in the race. Despite Obama's veer to center lately, I'm not buying it. If he wins the election there will be nothing that stops him from taking a hard left (also, his overuse of the executive order to get around Congress and constitutional checks and balances are particularly unnerving). In a nation of extremes with most of us residing somewhere in the middle, we can't have have the extremes ruling the rest of us.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  146. Connie in Tennessee

    I say let them keep fighting. It only helps Obama!!

    March 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  147. Cathy Smith

    Yes, I certainly hope so, in my opinion Mitt Romney is the most qualified for the office and to beat President Obama
    I don't think there is any doubt or has ever been that Mitt will be the man in charge.

    AJ, Arizona

    March 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  148. Jack_of_Arts

    If Gingrich is of real Christian character as he has espoused, he should have the humility to step down and support either Santorum (who hold similar religious beliefs) or Romney (who probably have similar real world beliefs). The same should be said of Paul. But if either man's ego gets the best of them, they will continue to drag out this soap opera for a while longer. Which would be a long-term benefit of Obama, whom I will re-elect without hesitation in November.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  149. Terry in Virginia

    My Magic Eight Ball said, "Outlook Good," right before my Etch-a-Sketch picture of Romney fell over, knocked the ball onto the floor, and knocked it senseless. Now it just flips between "Yes" and "No." As for Romney's pic, it's moderately distorted.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  150. Deborah

    Yes, lets face it Mr. Romney will win the nomination with the far right of the base liking it or not.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  151. Daniel

    Jack, Illinois may indeed have been. But a similar case can be made for Puerto Rico! Romney crushed the opposition there, and Santorum began to self-destruct here, too. Puerto Rico came on the heels of Santorum's wins, and he lost whatever momentum he had. Illinois has solidified that loss, and continued Santorum's gaffe streak....

    March 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  152. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    Mitt Romney appears to be trying to "buy" the election with his unending amount of cash. He and his Republican opponents have thrashed each so badly making the public want to scream and giving the President mounds of information to use in the general election. The attacks on women will hurt the R's big-time and they will be soundly defeated by the Independent, Democratic and clear-thinking Republican women voters of this country. This is 2012, we are educated, intelligent and will not be taken back 50 years by the Republican drive to devalue women. Obama in 2012.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  153. al from orlando

    The Bain rep can now concentrate on dumping jobs in Washington and celebrating the birth of Christ and
    santorem at the White House

    March 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  154. Jacques Butler

    Yes, it is the pivotal turning point. Santorum is no longer relevant. Now I have to find another interesting news story to follow,

    March 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  155. iadadman

    I don't know if it's over for Romney yet. I mean, the big money muscle in the party pretty much made him the nominee months ago but he might not be able to get Santorum off his tail until the convention. I think his advisor's gaffe today about the Etch a Sketch could really hurt him in the next few contests if not all the way until November. I mean, talk about showing the 'Wizard' behind the curtain. Whoops. He basically just admitted that they have Romney saying whatever is necessary, 'believing' whatever is necessary, to get the nomination. How could anyone vote for the guy after hearing that? You can bet Santorum and Gingrich are going to hit him hard with that.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  156. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    What percentage of elegible republicans showed up to Vote? In past primaries the numbers were so low they were not only not a turning point, they were pointless. Show me the numbers!

    March 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  157. Ben from Boston


    It is not so much a turning point as it is passing a milestone on the path to nomination. Romney is gradually moving along the path and one day a few months from now he will have the 1144 required. In the end he will get most of the Tea Party and most of the conservatives and most of the evangelicals - some will stay home but most will vote for Mitt.
    The big question is what will happen with the independents.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  158. Jerry in Alaska

    It's not gonna be as bad as 2008 and the turning point from Illinois that is crashing America, as well as all the world.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  159. Larry in Houston

    Was Illinois the turning point in the Republican race?
    Answer : Yes
    I've been saying this for over a year now – IF Romney is the Nominee – Obama will be defeated, period. ( Yes, I am a Registered Democrat, currently living in a Republican State)
    That's why I would Just Love to see either the newter or santorum get the nomination. If either one of them wins the nomination, Obama would get a 2nd Term. Otherwise, Romney will be our next President.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:34 pm |