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David Axelrod: GOP's 'Negative' Ads To Blame For Low Voter Turnout In Illinois (VIDEO)

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Even with picture perfect weather, early counts suggest that voter turnout has been light in Chicago, though areas outside the Democrat-controlled city are faring slightly better.

Champaign County clerk Gordy Hulten estimated the central Illinois county would see about 28 percent voter turnout, in an area where pundits predicted Republican voters would be out with the most force, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

While anti-Obama sentiment has been a driving force in the heated standoff between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in Illinois, the President's senior campaign analyst David Axelrod says the GOP has itself to blame for the diminished voter returns.

"This big Republican advantage and enthusiasm--you don't see that anymore," Axelrod said on NBC Chicago. "I think this long-grinding negative campaign has really deflated interest in their candidates," Axelrod said, adding that he's pleased with the engagement he's seen among Democratic voters and Obama supporters.

As if on cue, Santorum debuted a radio ad today that attacks Romney's wavering conservative voting record:

"Ok. A Liberal, a Moderate and a Conservative walk into a bar. And the bartender says...Hello Mitt. Funny, but true," the ad begins, later adding: "Where does Mitt Romney stand on issues? I guess it all depends who he's standing in front of."

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