Illinois Republicans will take a page from their Iowa counterparts later this week when they conduct their own straw poll aimed at determining who is tops in the GOP presidential field.This has been in the news since early this year. In this state the IL GOP has been struggling. It may not help that a former Republican Gov. George Ryan was recently convicted of corruption charges. This straw poll is one way the IL GOP is seeking to regain some relevance in Illinois.
On Thursday, during Republican Day festivities at the Illinois State Fair, registered voters will be able to cast their votes for president, with the results to be announced later that afternoon.
"It will be a good opportunity for grass-roots activists to come and hear from the presidential campaigns," said Lance Trover, Illinois Republican Party spokesman.
Though patterned after the more well-known event held in Iowa Sunday, the Illinois straw poll will be a much smaller affair.
For example, unlike Iowa, which uses the event to raise money for the party, Illinois Republicans aren't charging voters or candidates money to participate.
And, unlike Iowa, it is not clear whether any of the GOP candidates will descend on Springfield looking to boost their candidacies.
"It is a lot different from Iowa," Trover said.
Officials say they'd like to see several thousand people participate in the Illinois poll, but even that number may be hard to reach. In recent years, as Democrats have taken control of state government, attendance at Republican Day activities has dropped.
Last year, about 500 people showed up for a picnic on the Director's Lawn, located on the north side of the fairground.
To bolster attendance, some campaigns are bringing in busloads of supporters.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who posted a commanding win in the Iowa straw poll, is providing free transportation from Bloomington to Springfield for the event.
A good start. I wanted to attach news about the recent Iowa straw poll for the GOP, but I need to gather the news on that. I do know one thing, the Republican field now has one less contender.
Former Wisconsin governor and Health & Human Service Secretary Tommy Thompson left the race. Understand and you should see that in the article I just posted in Iowa at least you really have to hustle for support, if you can't do that then it's unlikely that you'll do well. See we've already seen three candidates drop out and they haven't ran a single primary. It's because they haven't raised enough money, maybe the polls wouldn't improve, maybe they got what they wanted out of it (perhaps name recognition), or boosters like the Iowa straw poll didn't work out for them.