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The major players are calling it: Donald Trump has won Illinois. This result, which shows the real estate mogul is still on top in the race for the GOP nomination, bodes ill for the Not Trump movement, which was hoping to secure more key victories as the primary season rolled on.
In Illinois, as in many other cases, Ted Cruz came in second place, showing he is still the top Not Trump candidate. The gap between the two shows the race is still very tight as Republicans begin to take sides more firmly. GOP voters are either firmly on Team Trump or Team Cruz, with Marco Rubio having bowed out and John Kasich pretty much mathematically eliminated, despite a big win in his home state and a promise to go all the way to Cleveland.
Trump’s true victory in Illinois, however, will depend on the loophole primary system, as explained in this post here. If Trump’s delegate slates, which were also on the ballots in the Congressional Districts, underperformed Trump’s statewide performance, then it could mean Ted Cruz ends up with more delegates despite losing the popular vote.
Donald Trump is guaranteed 15 delegates out of tonight’s contest, and will be getting a good number from the CDs, as well. But, if Ted Cruz was able to take key areas in other CDs, then he could get some. However, it is not likely that he will get many, considering turnout for Republicans is notoriously low in Illinois and the biggest counties showed up early and decisively for Donald Trump.
The loss of Illinois to Trump makes things a lot more difficult in trying to knock him out of the lead before the convention. What’s more, it adds to a rough night for Not Trump after losing Florida and North Carolina. The one bright spot for Not Trump, oddly, is in Ohio.