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Exit poll: Illinois isn't Alabama or Mississippi

 

About two hours before polling places close, the first waves of exit poll data show that Illinois is vastly different -- when it comes to religion, ideology, and income status -- than what we saw last week in Alabama and Mississippi.

And that's potentially very good news for Mitt Romney, who has been favored to win this contest.

According to the exit poll so far, just four in 10 GOP primary voters in Illinois describe themselves as evangelical Christians -- versus eight in 10 who said that in Alabama and Mississippi. That's a huge shift.

In addition in Illinois, 31% say they are "very conservative" -- compared with 42% who said that in Mississippi and 36% in Alabama.

What's more, 37% of Republican primary voters in Illinois say their total family income exceeds $100,000. But just 23% in Alabama and 26% in Mississippi said that.