THEIR WORDS: Here's Why Republicans STILL Don't Like Mitt Romney

illinois republicans

Photo: Business Insider/Grace Wyler

After a hard-fought battle with Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney won the Illinois Republican primary tonight and appears poised to take the majority of the state’s 69 delegates. The victory goes a long way toward reestablishing Romney inevitability as the Republican nominee. The former Massachusetts Governor now has a sizable lead in the delegate count, and his opponents will have a hard time regaining momentum in the second half of the primary race. 

But even tonight’s decisive win does little to resolve the major weaknesses underlying Romney’s presidential bid. Despite the state’s relatively moderate Republican electorate, Romney had fight hard to beat back a formidable challenge from Rick Santorum. Romney outspent Santorum 7-to-1, and was forced to campaign aggressively this week, even calling in last-minute reinforcements from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

But Romney remained unable to connect with the GOP’s grassroots base, and failed to connect with Illinois’s most conservative voters. 

At a rally for Newt Gingrich in exurban Chicago last week, Business Insider spoke with several Republicans about why they aren’t supporting their party’s presumptive frontrunner. Their responses offer revealing insight into why Romney just can’t seem to hack it with the grassroots. 

Here’s what they had to say. 

Lyle Davidson, Retired Businessman (Crystal Lake, IL)

Raphael Kamner, Real Estate Appraiser (Lincoln Hills, IL)

Mary Alger, Candidate for McHenry County Board (Crystal City, IL)

Kerry Johnson, Airline Captain (St. Charles, IL)

Why He's Not Voting For Romney: 'I want a candidate who's going to repeal Obamacare right away. That's the most important thing.'

Who He's Supporting: Newt Gingrich. 'Newt has said he would repeal Obamacare, first thing.

Thomas Jurs, Real Estate Professional (Union, IL)

Wendy Kirkwood, Homemaker (Crystal Lake, IL)

Ronald Clinard, Service Manager for Medical Service Firm (Crystal Lake, IL)

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