REHOBOTH BEACH, DEL.—The Illinois GOP straw poll–not influenced by the kind of pay-to-play politics that marked the Iowa balloting— handed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Thursday another victory and might take some of the Big Mo away from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who was basking in the glory of coming in second in the Iowa straw vote.
But Republicans casting ballots at the State Fair in Springfield –all 922 of them–put former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.)– who one of these days will make his candidacy official–in second only a point ahead of the iconoclastic Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) who came in third. Mostly spurned by Land of Lincoln GOP straw voters were former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Romney poured money into Iowa but the Illinois straws came with no stumping from the candidates, very little surrogate campaigning and freshly spawned statewide organizations. Romney in Illinois ran with the backing for former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) who on Friday will make official his decision not to seek another term.
for the numbers, click below…
from the Illinois GOP party….
Mitt Romney Wins Illinois Straw Poll
SPRINGFIELD, IL Illinois State Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna announced today that Mitt Romney won the Illinois Straw Poll on Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair.
Congratulations to Mitt Romney, whose strong showing today indicates he has begun to put together a strong statewide organization said McKenna. Theres no question that Illinois demographics closely match those of the United States and this could be an indication as to whom Illinois voters are leaning toward this coming February.
The Illinois Republican Party sponsored the straw poll during its Republican Day festivities at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. Requirements to participate were: having participated in one of the previously held Republican Presidential Debates; or having polled above 5% in a national, independent poll.
As I watched hundreds of people literally standing in the rain to vote in our straw poll, it drove home that the Illinois Republican Party is strongly united, said McKenna. This was a phenomenal opportunity for the grassroots leaders of the Party to hear from the presidential campaigns.
The Illinois Republican Presidential Straw Poll was conducted on electronic voting machines and ran from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mitt Romney 40.35%
Fred Thompson 19.96%
Ron Paul 18.87%
Rudy Giuliani 11.61%
John McCain 4.12%
Mike Huckabee 3.04%
Sam Brownback 1.08%
Duncan Hunter – .65%
Tom Tancrado – .33%