August 16th, 2007
07:52 PM ET
9 years ago

Mitt Romney wins Illinois straw poll

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney

(CNN)–Mitt Romney added another straw poll victory to his resume Thursday.

Illinois state Republican party chairman, Andy McKenna, said Romney won the Illinois Straw poll at the Illinois State Fair. "Congratulations to Mitt Romney, whose strong showing today indicates he has begun to put together a strong statewide organization," McKenna said. "There's 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."

Romney secured an overwhelming victory with 40.35 percent of the vote. Former Senator Fred Thompson, who is expected to formally enter the race for the GOP nomination next month, came in second with 19.96 percent of the vote.

The Illinois Republican party sponsored the straw poll during its Republican Day festivities at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

To be included, participate candidates were required to have participated in one of the previously held debates with other Republican candidates, or have polled above 5 percent in a national, independent poll.

Final results of Thursday's Illinois straw poll:

1. Mitt Romney – 40.35%

2. Fred Thompson – 19.96%

3. Ron Paul – 18.87%

4. Rudy Giuliani – 11.61%

5. John McCain – 4.12%

6. Mike Huckabee – 3.04%

7. Sam Brownback – 1.08%

8. Duncan Hunter – .65%

9. Tom Tancredo – .33%

–CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Related: Romney wins early vote

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. moz, NJ

    Why is any Republican a Romney supporter? The guy governs like a democrat. Check out his record and then check out Ron Paul's record.
    *Never voted for a tax
    *Against war from beginning
    *Voted to pursue Osama
    *Abolish Income Tax

    You want smaller government? YOU WANT RON PAUL.

    August 17, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Joe, Los Angeles, CA

    With Romney spending this much money on bus rides for people to vote for him, it just goes to show that if elected- he will be spending our tax money on just that...things that benefit him and the government.

    August 17, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. TrueRepub, NY

    I voted to Reagan! I am proud of that.
    I am voting for the next Reagan.....

    RON PAUL!!!!!!!!!!

    August 17, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. K2 Chicago, Il

    To CNN:

    Why do you guys continue to miss the Ron Paul story? He is the only candidate that has a substantially different message/platform from the rest. Do you not see that his popularity on the Internet is explained as a CAUSE of his exposure on the Internet, not the other way around. He will continue to gain steam as his views become known.

    Stop following the heard CNN.

    August 17, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Johnny Galbraith, Provo UT

    I'm not so much worried about's bias as I am the cult-like nature of Ron Paul's followers that have made comments. At least think differently and change a couple words every time you post, please.

    August 17, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Steve - Peoria, IL

    I'm in Illinois, and believe me- it's usually blue. But I think most people are conservative at heart, and don't want abortion, illegal immigration and a weak military.

    Congratulations, Gov. Romney

    August 17, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Aaron, Lake Ozark, MO

    Straw polls, historically, are strong indicators of which direction a state is leaning.

    I think the assumption that you can buy straw poll victories is pretty weak. The people that show up are very political and more importantly, they actually vote and get a others to vote. It is big to win straw polls on a consistant basis and usually the real polls follow suit.

    This is a huge win for Romney!

    August 17, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. r curtain - beloit, wi

    I think that Gov. Romney is very astute with finances and will not raise our taxes. I think he'll eliminate the holes that exist at our southern border, and I think he'll take seriously that we need to get behind our soldiers in the war against jihad.

    Thank you for spending so much time in the Midwest, Mitt! Good Luck

    August 17, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Romney has been doing everything he can to get himself involved in this race. At this very minute, he is seeing the results of the MASSIVE amount of $$$ and resources he piled into Iowa and it is giving the APPEARANCE that he has become a real contender.

    This has also given him a little bump in credibility with some voters who wonder why Giuliani and others decided to bypass the Iowa straw poll.

    The BIG question remains; can Romney do enough to position himself as the opponent of Giuliani in the stretch run to the Republican nomination. It is now looking like he may given Thompson's impotent campaign.

    The problem for Romney is the same as it has always been. He has COMPLETELY changed his views on issues that are hugely important to the Republican base (abortion, gun control, illegal immigration) and in the end this will be his ultimate downfall.

    If you watch him on news shows trying to explain away the many contradictions and inconsistancies it is really kind of laughable. He comes off as completely dishonest in every way.

    When he tries to go head to head with Giuliani in a debate he will be shredded in every way known to man and he will soon be a has been in American politics.

    August 17, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. George

    CNN has to start reporting the whole story and stop this spinning. If you continue to think that the American people are that ignorant, you will surely loose viewers and you have already lost credibility. CSPAN live is about the only good thing that you offer. Fox and ABC are no better. It is a sad state of affairs when you have to watch Comedy Central to get anything of news worhty value. Tell the whole story and include Dr. Paul!

    August 17, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Seen it before, Boston, MA

    The Mormon minority is highly organized and can muster and create the false appearance of a majority at events in most states. The Massachusetts GOP didn't know where these people suddenly came from. They disappeared when Mitt did.

    August 17, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. John Thomas, Edina, MN

    Steve in Peoria:

    Just a little hint: the military supports Ron Paul, not Mitt "My-kids-fight-for-america-by-getting-me-elected" Romney. Ron Paul received the MOST donations from the military. The military wants Ron Paul to be president.

    That must be some thick sand there, but I just know you can pull your head out!

    August 17, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Bryan, Des Moines, Iowa

    The only mention of Ron Paul in the article was negative...
    "Paul's libertarian stylings and campaign of strict interpretation of the Constitution has earned him an unorthodox band of sign-carrying supporters. They frequently interrupted TV reports of the event and at one point, Romney's Illinois chairman, state Sen. Dan Rutherford (R-Chenoa), ripped a sign out of one Paul supporter's hands and threw it on the ground."

    August 17, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Robert Edward Johnson, Normal, IL

    1. There are now only two candidates who were in the top five BOTH TIMES (IA and IL): Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.
    2. There are now only five candidates who were in the top three at least once, which includes not only Mitt and Ron but Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, and Fred Thompson. In case neither the MSM nor the non-internet polling services have noticed, none of those five people are named Giuliani or McCain.
    3. Given that the three candidates who don't believe in evolution were in the top five in IA (Huckabee, Brownback and Tancredo), why does anyone care about the Midwestern equivalent of Pakistan?
    4. Given that McCain and Giuliani actually allegedly dropped out of IA to concentrate on IL, and given that even with a pathetic showing of 922 total votes for all the GOP candidates in IL, that Rudy and McCain STILL couldn't place better than fourth and fifth respectively (McCain didn't even break into triple digits, and Rudy only barely so), WHEN, oh WHEN, will these two drop out so as to stop cluttering the stage? On a related note, is Duncan Hunter hoping to win the California Primary or something? What's HIS deal? Sort of a pro-war Kucinich or something? Going the distance? If this were Survivor he'd alredy be voted off the island.

    Note to John: Mitt's "message"? Which ONE? The one from 1994 – that the Boy Scouts should be forced to have gay troopleaders, or the message POST-Catholic Church scandal where he opposes gay marriage?

    Note to David of Salinas: Since the only real contenders now are Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, the "fake" world of the internet and texting polls has actually turned out to be more 'real' than land line phone polling.

    Note to Eric: How DARE you compare a left-wing chameleon like Mitt to a real conservative like Reagan???!!!

    Note to Mike of Vegas: If the Illinois Straw Poll was unimportant, why did Rudy and McCain drop out of Iowa to concentrate on it? And if THIS is as well as they did, even though only 922 voted (McCain got less than 100 votes, Rudy barely that many), then what does that say about their organizations, strength, etc.?

    Note to Ben: the 2% figure in Iowa was due to the Wash. Post 'poll' which by definition was highly biased against Ron Paul since they'd already called on May 8th for him to drop out, even though several candidates such as Gilmore were obviously already even weaker than Ron Paul. The Wash Post poll also relies on the same land line phone polling that has been grossly biased for years now. Who is sitting next to their land line to answer Gallup? War widows for McCain, unemployed losers for Rudy, etc.

    Note to Eddie: The Illinois Straw Poll unlike Iowa was FREE and the State Fair cost me $3 and another $4 for parking. Rudy and McCain dropped out of Iowa to CONCENTRATE on Illinois!!

    Note to Nathan. PLEASE. The GOP IS poised for disaster (the Iowa Straw Poll declined 40% from 1999 to 2007) but not for the reasons you state. BO is so stupid he wants to invade a nation of 165 million that has nukes. Even a dope like Romney could beat BO.

    Note to Dustin: The Mitt folks who control the IL machine kept polls open 15 minutes later so a few Fred folks could just edge out Ron Paul. Only 11 votes separated the two. Good point about the troops: 1/3 of military folks' donations are going to Ron, 1/3 to all the other GOP candidates combined, the other 1/3 to the Dems combined.

    Note to Allen: If the Donnie-and-Marie Mo Mormon image is supposed to be so squeaky clean, why WAS the Salt Lake City Olympics the most corrupt ever? Mitt Romney, another Hahvahd B-Schooler, will make Dubya look good by comparison. If you think FORCING folks to buy grossly overpriced medical services via insurance instead of adopting Milton Friedman's ideas in Capitalism and Freedom are the way out of the medical care crisis, you're in the wrong party.

    Note to Mark: It's not so much his faith as his FAITHLESSNESS to ANY ideology that will do in Romney, just as it did his 'brainwashed' father George (George on Vietnam, Mitt on abortion I suppose).

    Note to Greg: you'll recall that Romney HIMSELF was ANYTHING but polite during the ABC debate, interrupting Ron Paul TWICE. Some Mo Mormon/WASP.

    Note to Ben: If you're PART of the event, how is it POSSIBLE, BY DEFINITION, to 'interrupt' a news report on YOU YOURSELF? The Ron Paul folks were PART of the event! But what excuse did an alleged adult like Dan Rutherford have to rip a sign from a Ron Paul supporter's hands. I wish Dan had tried that with ME....

    August 17, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Tom, Austin TX

    "... That to secure these Rights,Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that when any form of Govenment becomes destuctive these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    Go RON GOOOOO!!!!!!

    August 17, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. metaljaybird

    Wow, the no name Ron Paul is in a statistical tie with Thompson. I love the lack of mention in this article.

    Maybe big media will start taking this traditional conservative more seriously.

    August 17, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. Tim, Georgia

    After reading this article, I tried a thought experiment with my wife: "CNN's Illinois straw poll article says that Romney was first, Thompson was second. That was as far down the list as they went in the text of the article. See if you can figure out where Ron Paul placed."

    Her immediate response was "Third, of course. If he had been fourth, CNN would have mentioned the top 3. If Paul had been second, they would only have mentioned #1." Apparently, only candidates up to (but not including) Ron Paul are covered.

    It is sad that Paul essentially tied with Thompson for second place, but was not even mentioned. Perhaps the article should have mentioned that Paul was second of the candidates who have actually declared.

    August 17, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. San Pedro,CA

    I'm sick and tired of all the ignorant shills and the corrupt main stream media who try to marginalize and completely ignore Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul will be the next President of the United States of America. It's obvious his numbers are at least 20 to 30 times larger than the 2% reported by the propagandist MSM.

    This is a real revolution of the people and we will not allow our country to be destroyed by the fascists Neo-Cons anymore!

    Wake up America and stand together in the name of Liberty, Peace, and Justice!!

    And by the way, this is my only post... I am just one of the millions of Ron Paul revolutionaries!!!

    August 17, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Ron Paul beats Giuliani, and nary a peep in the article. THe MSM is standing around with their fingers in their ears, eyes closed, going "Lalalala, I can hear you,lalalalla"

    Congrats to Mitt, good call to visit the fair. Go Ron Paul!

    August 17, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. Simba, Franklin, TN

    Chutzpah Award of the Year – Romney Robot attacking others for lack of consistency!! LOL Is it possible for someone to look any less spontaneous or more rehearsed? His writers probaablyu spend hours on his one liners. Even his "anger" looks as if it's been tested before focus groups for just the right inflection.

    Romney Robot is the one GOPer guaranteed to lose. Not red enough for the Red states, not blue enough for the Blue states, sorta... vague, like his speeches.

    August 17, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. dale w arizona

    Maybe having someone with brains when it comes to high finance is a good idea?
    GO MITT>..

    August 17, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. Jamal, Memphis

    Wow, Thompson isn't even in the race and finished second.

    He is going to walk away with this when he gets in.

    What I don't get is why Romney isn't doing better. He's the only one bussing in people to vote and spending money on these and he can't even get a third in Iowa? If you're the only guy on the football field, you should be able to score at will.

    August 17, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Max Barth, Royersford, PA

    Two words: RON PAUL!

    WHEN will the media start recognizing that he is gaining in the race and creating what may become the most powerful grass-roots political effort ever. Ron Paul 2008!!! Let's end politics as usual. Seriously. Ron Paul.

    August 17, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Sean, New York, NY

    Ron Paul in 2008 to bring the USA back to the people.

    CNN – Could you be more biased? How much more do you need to take him seriously? You used to be a good news agency, now you're just a bought-out sensationalized democrat version of Fox News. Boo! Shame on you!

    GO RON!! America supports you!

    August 17, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. John L, Sunnyvale CA

    Your refusal to even mention the name "Ron Paul" in the body of your article is baffling. Surely when a 2nd tier candidate beats out two "1st tier" folks and almost beats a third it's worth mentioning?

    August 17, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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