With national surveys showing the contest between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney tightening, a new Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows the home-state president retains a comfortable advantage in Illinois even though the economy has drained some of the enthusiasm.
Obama scored 55 percent support to 36 percent for Romney, virtually identical to a similar poll in February before Romney had clinched the nomination. So far, Obama is short of replicating his victory margin of four years ago, when he accepted the presidency at a huge Grant Park rally after claiming 62 percent of the Illinois vote.
While the president is racking up huge support in Chicago and winning the suburbs, Romney holds a lead Downstate. That’s where three hard-fought congressional races are playing out, indicating Obama’s coattail effect may be limited despite a map Democrats drew to wipe out Republican gains of 2010.