Illinois Election Results LIVE: Obama Leads Romney By 16 Points in His Home State

On Tuesday, Americans will focus their attention on the 2012 presidential election between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Illinois may not be in the media’s focus as other states but the election results here will still help elect the next President.

Obama has a commanding 16 point lead over Romney in Illinois. While Chicago and Rock Island County are Democratic strongholds, the rest of the state can be considered a toss-up. While polls have ceded Illinois’ 20 electoral votes to Obama, Romney may be stronger than the polls indicate. If that happens, Illinoisans will be making a statement on Obama’s record even if their votes may be overshadowed by Democratic strongholds.

Illinois may not have the same media attention of Ohio or Florida but the state’s election results will still have an impact on the election. The end result may be closer than the polls predict. Illinois voter turnout will have a significant impact on election results just as in other states. Will Republicans and disappointed swing voters make Illinois relevant to the presidential race?

UPDATE: 

3:10 PM  General information for the Illinois election.

The polls in Illinois close at 7 PM CST.

There are 7,346,413 registered voters in Illinois.

Illinois has 20 electoral votes.

The last time Illinois supported a Republican presidential candidate was in 1988 (Bush vs Dukakis).

President Obama leads former Governor Romney in the polls by 16 points.

UPDATE:

7:05 PM  ABC News has predicted that Obama will win Illinois.  With only 20% of votes being reported and a current 55% to 43% pro-Romney tally ABC is premature. 

UPDATE:

7:27 PM  WLS-TV is reporting that Romney leads Obama 55% to 43% with 28 districts reporting.

UPDATE:

8:05 PM  With 53 distircts reporting, Romney leads 56% to Obama's 42%.

UPDATE:

11:10 PM President Obama has been projected as the winner in Illinois.  He has also been projected as winning the 2012 presidential election.  While Republicans in Illinois tried to make Illinois relevant to the national campaign they did not succeed.  Obama handily carried the state and is on his way to making a victory speech at McCormick Place.

The Obama campaign has succeeded in keeping the White House.  While the President has won the Electoral College vote, the nation stands divided about his policies and past performance.  The next four years will be a testimony to Obama's latest election pledge of moving "forward" or to another four years of divisiveness and socialism.  Republicans will try to regroup and await the next presidential election.

PolicyMic will be covering the 2012 election from the state of Illinois live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.