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Sweet blog scoop: Illinois GOP poised to grab Republican straw poll from Iowa.

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WASHINGTON—The once influential Iowa GOP Straw poll is dead. Republican front-runners Rudy Giuliani and John McCain pulled out. The Illinois Republican party is poised to fill the void and offer a "more objective standard" to test support.

With the new, earlier February pimary, state party leaders have been mulling a straw poll at GOP day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield in August. With Iowa off the calendar, there is more interest.

Illinois State Party chairman Andy McKenna told the Sun-Times, “We haven't made a final decision, but Illinois is not Iowa. Our straw poll would be focused on energizing grassroots supporters and testing the strengths of the various presidential campaigns' local organizations.

"We're not looking for an artificial process that simply rewards those campaigns which are willing to spend the most money. "The uncertainty about the Iowa straw poll could strengthen the impact of ours - campaigns in Illinois will be measured by a more objective standard. Those that are well organized and are attracting legitimate support will be rewarded by the votes of committed GOP activists at our State Fair Day."

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This would be similar to having a party and then noone shows up. The Republican party in Illinois has almost ceased to exist on a statewide basis. Illinois is becoming more and more liberal due to the influence of Cook County and the major media outlets that originate in Chicago. The Illinois Republican party might try remaking itself into a party for the people of all of Illinois and not just Cook County. To do that, they have to win hearts and minds and spearhead the elimination of politics as usual in Illinois. After much bragadaccio, the Democrats have reneged on that same promise, and I fear the Republicans will do no better. If there is a referendum on the ballot next year to have a state constitutional convention, we need to strive for term limitation and stricter campaign finance laws. That is the only way that we will ever see government for the people and by the people.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 7, 2007 3:51 PM.

Sweet blog extra: Obama, Clinton hustle "expectation management" over 2nd quarter fund-raising. was the previous entry in this blog.

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