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. Paul Ron, Sheboygan, MI

    Good for Romney. He is a legitimate candidate... brains, money, organization and ability. When is it going to be apparent to the likes of a Ron Paul that it is OVER...he has as much chance of becoming President as the guy who changes the oil in my car..

    August 17, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Mark, Hoboken, NJ

    Good Job Dr. Paul!

    It is a shame that the media can't see a front runner unless they are paid off.

    August 17, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. Kurt (Drumheller, AB CANADA)

    I'm not sure how anyone can take these seriously, especially if you claim to respect the democratic process. In straw polls, money literally buys votes.

    As for Ron Paul, he's a politician, not a cult leader, though I'm sure some of you would gladly shave your heads and play the tamborine for him.

    Please, some perspective people!

    August 17, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. John J

    Romney cannot and will not be elected. He is just another shapeshifting hack. He does not now, nor has he ever had convictions. What he does have is a "message". Unfortunately, that message is different over time and with his audience. Further, he is a Mormon. Sorry to all the LDS folks, but this religion is seen as a "cult" by many, many Americans. This will be more so after all the hit pieces the media will do should he win the GOP nomination.

    August 17, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Adam, Parker CO

    Couple things:

    1) I think ol' Joe Smith himself would've been as surprised as can be that a Mormon won a straw poll in Illinois, a state that had issued an extermination order against his people.
    2) Each and every one of your anti-Mormon comments do nothing to prove the validity of anything you say, and do everything to make me and every other clear-thinking American realize your bigoted bias.
    3) So Romney's campaign helped people pay to attend the straw poll and you think this means he must therefore have no support? Remind me, where did that money come from? Oh, yeah, the donations of American supporters who helped make his campaign earn more money by far than any other GOP campaign.
    4) Whoever it was that said Straw Polls are useless is either blind or uninformed on the history of American Politics. Consider that no candidate who has ever skipped the Ames, IA Straw Poll has ever gone on to win the January Caucus. Not that it can't be done, but rather that it hasn't.
    5) I do agree that it is ridiculous that Ron Paul wasn't mentioned in the article. However, one third-place finish in an inaugural straw poll of less than a thousand people isn't particularly noteworthy; hence the Romney people aren't making as big a deal of it as the Ron Paul people are.
    6) I do agree that Ron Paul has a lot of good ideas the country needs to hear about. But he also needs to understand that maybe the best place for him best serve his country is in Congress. If he's as patriotic as his supporters make him out to be, he'd be more likely to realize this.
    7) Mitt has earned his front-runner status for a lot of reasons. Fred's campaign is too weak to pose a legitimate threat. McCain's campaign has already fallen apart but looks poised for a resurgence. Giuliani's campaign is strategically misguided. Ron Paul & Co. are all ridiculously annoying and rude in nearly everything they post online or say in person. We don't need an annoying President. We need Mitt Romney.

    August 17, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. Joel, Denver, CO

    All you Ron Paul people sound like a bunch of brainwashed freaks. I'm sick of you over-representing your candidate on web commentaries like this. I'll bet that in reality most of these pro-Paul statements are coming from a single computer-geek stooge trapped in front of his computer in the Ron Paul campaign headquarters.

    August 17, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. William, Manchester, NH

    Ron Paul is a complete joke and will never be elected President.

    August 17, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. /////ANDRE

    I can see the headlines for Nov '08 now...

    "Hillary Takes The Country by Storm!"
    "Second Place Finish Puts Her on TOP. Strong showing against BOTH Giuliani and Romney who came in Third and Fourth respectively."
    (note: Ron Paul elected.)

    August 17, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Tim, FL

    To Joel from Denver, CO:

    What if he is not "over-represented"? What if he actually has that many supporters? Should we establish comment quotas to avoid offending CNN readers?

    August 17, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. John Thomas, Edina, MN

    Joel, you're not very bright, now, are you? I guess the Ron Paul supporters must have 'hacked' the Illinois straw polls, too, eh?

    It's natural to resist change, guys, I understand. Ron Paul is your friend, however; he wants to get rid of the IRS. You must be an idiot to fight that. Idiot.

    August 17, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. desertviking

    Romney is running his campaign just like on of his businesses-you have to admire that. He is spending money to earn his place in the news-albeit in battlefields where most of the combatants aren't claiming ground yet. Its a smart strategy because he is leveraging too-early straw polls in Iowa and Illinois into big media coverage, and that is good business. I don't think it is enough to overcome his deficiencies though. I admire the man, but his swing is full of holes. Flipper, Mormon question, etc. I don't find anything wrong with him myself, but I think many will.

    August 17, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. Dr Smith

    The win by Romney in Illinois is indicative of the overall weakness of the field, not the strength of Romney. He is a marginal candidate at best. Having said that, this win does show a certain strength and commitment in his organization. I fear however that he is blowing all his money to pick himself out of obscurity now and will be running dry later. He is a giant among dwarfs.

    The fact that he is a Mormon is a huge negative nationally. This is not a bigoted comment: it is a statement of fact. Why is is that so many confuse "how things ought to be" with "how things are". His appeal to the Christian main stream will be lukewarm at best and mildly turned off most likely. This is a demographic that the rest of the field can count on slam dunk: he can't and will need to fight for it. Worse, he will split this group with anyone he runs against.

    I find the Ron Paul story fascinating and I am not a brainwashed nut. I do not believe that he is a creation of the Internet. This is too simple an explanation to hold water. Rather, I see his popularity there as a consequence of exposure there. His message is both timeless and fresh at the same time. Timeless because his is the message of the founders of this country, fresh because he stands completely apart from all other candidates... on both sides. However, he does not seem to have the charm and charisma needed to pull off a victory. He is the best of the GOP candidates out there today.

    August 17, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Dan H. Alamogordo, NM

    I don't know about the rest of you, but when I think about who I'm going to vote for, the thing I think about is, "Who would I vote for if I hadn't heard of any of them?" and base my vote solely on my beliefs. I'm sure that's a bit far-fetched for most of you to deal with; after all, compromising your beliefs is an everyday part of your political process!
    Good luck with your "lesser of two evils" BS, hope your tainted conscience doesn't irreparably damage your life.

    August 17, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Chris, Austin, TX

    This is to all you Ron Paul supporters...and please excuse the blunt nature of this comment...

    SHUT UP.

    Straw polls mean NOTHING. Didn't you read the same thing that I did...less than 1,000 people participated in this poll. How is that supposed to be some accurate sampling of an ENTIRE COUNTRY...let alone a WHOLE STATE...or much less ONE CITY?!?

    I will not deny Ron Paul's *somewhat present* legitimacy as a candidate...but all of his followers are for lack of a better term..."cultish". Let's also not forget...there are what...nearly 10 people vying for the candidacy...IN EACH PARTY. It's FAR too early to tell where the heck this election is going in the next 6-12 months.

    For the record, I am a 22 year old Fred Thompson supporter (with friends who buy into Ron Paul hook line and sinker), but even I see what kind of trouble lies ahead for him and everyone else that seeks the Presidency.

    So listen all you Ron Paul fanatics, get off your high horse. Just get off of it. I admire the idealistic approach of you guys, I really do. But let's be honest, the Dems are gonna tear into every single POTENTIAL candidate (for some reason some people have already given Ron, Fred, Mitt, or others the Presidency) and Repubs will do the same. Sit back, take it all in, vote in the primaries if you happen to have the means (live in the state, can do so, etc.), and THEN let's see what the numbers say. Because honestly...until then...none of it really matters.


    If Ron Paul is still standing at that point...then I'll listen.

    August 17, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. Justin Kapacinskas, Schaumburg, IL

    Ron Paul Revolution, Legalize the Constitution!

    August 17, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. David Johinger, San Rafael, CA

    I second that comment about the fact that Mitt buys his votes, and therefore has a hollow victory. Hell if I didn't care, I would hop on a bus and get paid some cash to attend a straw poll to vote for someone too. Ron Paul is the only candidate worth voting for, unless Mike Gravel with the Dems suddenly got some publicity.

    August 17, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. frasu, Union, NJ

    wow, it is amazing how many times the reports stop right before mentioning Ron Paul... Well, is up to the people I guess to make the news...

    Ron Paul 2008

    August 17, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. Megan Hunt, Omaha NE

    If Ron Paul's supporters were behaving in an offensive way, that is deplorable and I hope that they are more respectful in the future.

    The momentum is unlike anything seen in modern times. Does anyone well versed in political history know the last time such a groundswell of grassroots support happened for a Presidential candidate.

    Absolutely inspiring. The GOP party "regulars" don't get it yet.

    August 17, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. Mark, Massachusetts

    Wow, Ron Paul in 3rd...and no mention of it in the article? Surely that's newsworthy no matter how biased a reporter you are.

    August 17, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. John Thomas, Edina, MN

    Christopherrr from Austin, TX:

    I sure hope you don't take the 'real' polls into consideration then. You know, the ones with a sample of around 400 people whom have a land-line telephone. Don't disappoint me, Christopher.

    August 17, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Klinemann, San Dimas, CA

    The best straw poll money can buy, but if Romney wins the Republican nomination, I will rip my shirt off, expose my blue skin tight suit with an S on my chest, and fly around tehe world spreading peace, justice and the American way. Exactly, not a chance for either of us, but if this bought win makes Roney feel warm and fuzy inside, good for him. FLIP-FLOP

    August 17, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. Mike, HI/NY

    Ron Paul & Co. are all ridiculously annoying and rude in nearly everything they post online or say in person.

    Ron Paul is probably the kindest old man you'd ever meet. Even though there are many times I think he should have interrupted others in the debates to correct them on their enormous BS, he stands there quietly and waits for his alotted time, as little as it is.

    Great news for him. I can't wait for the coming debate at the University of Nevada, the first to acknowledge that he's a top-tier candidate.

    August 17, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    TO: Chris, Austin, TX

    Do you know what RON PAUL stands for? DO you know his issues? Which ones do you like and dislike and why Fred will be better?

    August 17, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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