Last updated: April 4, 2012 - 2:23pm
Mitt Romney has been favored to win in Illinois, thanks to his large financial advantage and a voter pool full of the sort of upper-income, educated Republicans who have backed him in prior contests. But the GOP presidential race is neck and neck ahead of the March 20 primary, so Romney scheduled a visit to the state March 16, days earlier than expected, and his campaign and allies are making large advertising buys.
To drive suburban voters to the polls, Romney and a super PAC backing him have spent $3.4 million in Illinois, according to data from a Republican consultant monitoring the race. The pro-Santorum super PAC, called the Red, White and Blue Fund, committed $310,000 on March 16 to TV advertising. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been campaigning in the state, but he has not committed money to advertising so far, according to the consultant.
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