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Trump Won the Illinois Primary, But Downtown Voters Picked Kasich

By  David Matthews and Tanveer Ali | March 16, 2016 2:13pm 

 Tuesday's election results show Republican front-runner Donald Trump did much better away from Chicago's lakefront.
Tuesday's election results show Republican front-runner Donald Trump did much better away from Chicago's lakefront.
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DNAinfo/Evan Moore; file art

CHICAGO — Donald Trump won the Illinois primary, but he did so without one of Chicago's most Republican-heavy electorates: the lakefront. 

An analysis of Tuesday's election results show that Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) won the wards covering Downtown and most of Chicago's lakefront. And some of those wards, like the 42nd covering Downtown, were among the most active with Republican voters Tuesday. 

Why? The city's lakefront Republicans tend to be more liberal than Trump's base, says Dick Simpson, a former North Side alderman and professor of political science at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

"Even though they are Republican, they tend to be moderate Republicans who voted against Trump and for Kasich, who is the only moderate Republican left in the race," Simpson said. 

Trump won Tuesday's primary election with about 39 percent of the statewide vote. But Kasich, who's presented himself as a moderate foil to Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), performed much better in the city than throughout the rest of the state, even beating Cruz here. The number of Republican voters here surged 77 percent Tuesday compared with the 2012 primary. 

RELATED: Illinois Election Results Maps

Trump won the 43rd ward, which had the most Republican ballots cast (6,018) Tuesday and covers O'Hare International Airport and other surrounding areas near the northwest suburbs. Trump also won the 19th Ward on the Southwest Side, but Kasich carried the 42nd (5,252 votes), 43rd, and 2nd wards to round out the five most active Republican polling areas Tuesday. 

Trump, whose name is fixed on a 98-story tower overlooking the Chicago River, has powered through the primary season, but his controversial remarks have flummoxed the Republican party and led protesters to shut down a planned rally here Friday

While Simpson said Kasich likely won't be the Republican nominee, his performance Downtown along with winning the Ohio primary will garner him some delegates that could add some drama to the Republican National Convention this year, which is increasingly projected to be contested between Trump and another candidate

"Kasich has increased his position," Simpson said. 

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