Primary matters


ILLINOIS — Illinois is one of five states holding primaries Tuesday. But, the Land of Lincoln is really becoming a hot spot for candidates to do some last-minute campaigning.

People say so many candidates are coming here because of the state’s demographic. Others say it’s all for show.

From Chicago, Champaign, Bloomington and Springfield, presidential hopefuls are all about Illinois. The candidates have made several campaign stops here.

Voters, like Franshandra Liddell, are glad to see Central Illinois on the map.

“I think Illinois can be a fairly good hot spot. I’m just everything, so I think it’s really important for candidates to actually come here.”

But why Illinois and not Ohio, Florida or Missouri? Those states are also having primaries Tuesday.

“Illinois is probably a good representation for a lot of different graphics that they’re trying to reach and, because of that, this is a good place to reach out to more people.”

The Land of Lincoln has moved primary elections several times. In 2008, it was in February during Super Tuesday; a move local lawmakers tried to make permanent. Now, in the last two primaries, Illinois is up against other big states.

“Illinois looks like there’s going to be ore news here than certainly in Florida, North Carolina and perhaps Ohio.”

Political experts say the state’s middle class population and large number of universities makes for the best place to campaign.

“It really counts because Central Illinois is part of the strategy in terms of both the Sanders campaign and the Cruz campaign.”

Liddle agrees Illinois stacks up better when the primary is in March.

“For Illinois, and in general, for all these candidates to being, like, okay, ‘We need to come visit Illinois. Illinois is going to be important for us.'”

Some people say it’s good buzz for the state, but they don’t know if the candidates are really here for the right reasons.

“It’s nice they’re doing all that, but I really don’t know if they’re trying to do a power play or what they’re actually fighting for.”

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