This year is different.
Romney has not yet solidified the win, and the election is next week. This means that Illinois actually has some power over who ends up on the Republican ticket in 2012. This makes me excited to get out there and vote.
Interestingly, this is the first time since 1988 that Illinois is important in the primary race. Even the victories on Super Tuesday for Romney were not sufficient to clinch the nomination, and Illinois has 54 delegates for the taking.
With Illinois being a “Rust Belt” state, Santorum actually has some hope of doing well, as he has been performing well in these states up until now in these states. The campaign is turning a little nasty, though. Political ads bashing one or the other candidate are easy to come by when you turn on prime time TV.
So I, for one, am looking forward to Tuesday, knowing my vote might actually matter. In the 2008 presidential election, I felt there was no hope for defeating Obama, as he was the Illinois “favorite son,” which made my vote feel pointless. This time, it feels like I have a reason to vote, which has not been the case in a primary before. So I am excited for the chance to cast my vote!