Illinois Is Best Test of Santorum's Campaign
The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In Mississippi and Alabama, Mitt Romney failed miserably to prove he can win in the South, but now Rick Santorum must prove he can win in a big northern state, where the economy, not social issues, trump. Illinois will prove a great test.
In Alabama and Mississippi, Romney struck out with two principal divisions of the conservative movement -- Tea Party voters focused more on economic issues and Evangelicals more concerned with social issues.
Tuesday's Illinois primary will tell an interesting tale, because Evangelical Christians compose a much smaller share of the voting population than in the South, and the economy, not social issues, should trump. Unemployment, at 9.4%, is well above the national average. Although Illinois' rural farm belt is doing well, cashing in on strong demand for corn to make ethanol and soy, its cities are still smarting from the recession.
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