Trump claims victory in Illinois

  • 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, center, speaks during a news conference with son Eric Trump, right, and Corey Lewandowski, campaign manager for Trump, left, at the Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. Billionaire Trump fell short of his goal of winning the two key states he needed to clear most of the Republican presidential field, securing a huge victory in Florida to knock out Senator Marco Rubio while losing Ohio to Governor John Kasich.

    2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, center, speaks during a news conference with son Eric Trump, right, and Corey Lewandowski, campaign manager for Trump, left, at the Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. Billionaire Trump fell short of his goal of winning the two key states he needed to clear most of the Republican presidential field, securing a huge victory in Florida to knock out Senator Marco Rubio while losing Ohio to Governor John Kasich. Bloomberg

 
 
Updated 3/16/2016 12:19 AM

Donald Trump has been projected the winner of Illinois' Republican primary for president, riding a campaign of voters' frustration with politicians, bombastic claims and rollicking rallies toward victory in Illinois.

His victory over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz came on a sweep of Illinois most populous suburban counties, with Trump taking leads in early returns in DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will and suburban Cook.

 

Trump's results come just days after he made national waves in Chicago for canceling a rally when confronted by throngs of protesters. The action prompted a massive backlash from candidates in both parties as they tried to capitalize on a potential moment of weakness in Trump's front-running national campaign.

Instead, the businessman's supporters were energized, and delivered with about 39 percent of Illinois' vote with 97 percent of precincts reporting.

"Smart voters can see that he's the only one standing up to these thugs," Trump supporter Doug Ibendahl said Tuesday night.

Cruz was running second with 30 percent, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Midwesterner who hoped to do well here, trailed with 20 percent.

"I want someone different," Trump backer Paul Lashuk of Schaumburg said at his polling place. "I'm tired of both parties."

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Before Illinois' results even started to come in, Sen. Marco Rubio conceded to Trump in Florida.

Potential delegate wins here, in a state known for supporting so-called establishment candidates at the top of the ballot, could help put Trump on track toward his party's nomination for president.

But Illinois' 69-delegate bounty won't necessarily be awarded to a single candidate, leaving an opening for others to claim some kind of victories here. Delegate victories might be sorted out by the party in the coming days if the victors aren't immediately clear.

Kasich spent time in the suburbs the week before the election "showing a genuine interest in a Midwestern state that has a lot of similarities with his home state," state Rep. Ron Sandack, a Downers Grove Republican, said.

Cruz has presented himself as the conservative choice in the race in recent days and spent so much time in the suburbs because he saw a path to delegate wins here, one of his Illinois co-chairmen said.

"That was all driven by the data," Chicago GOP leader Chris Cleveland said.

Rubio had some of the best-known Illinois delegates on the ballot among Republicans still in the race, but now his supporters will have to re-evaluate.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.