It might not be Super Tuesday, but this Tuesday could be crucial to Mitt Romney. The Republican candidates face off in Illinois on Tuesday, with 54 delegates at stake—a victory Romney desperately needs after being pounded last week in Alabama and Mississippi. “Illinois presents a must-win for Romney as the state’s more moderate makeup and urban population set up better for Romney than Santorum,” GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak told CNN. By some polls, Romney has a 15-point lead over his nearest challenger, Rick Santorum. Romney and Santorum plan to blitz the state with last-minute pitches on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the candidates released their February fundraising numbers, with Romney reporting $11.5 million raised and Santorum hot on his heels with $9 million. President Obama reported $45 million in campaign contributions in the same period.
LAND OF LINCOLN Brian Kersey, UPI / Landov