Cain wins local GOP straw poll; Paul wins statewide

Cain wins local GOP straw poll; Paul wins statewide

CHAMPAIGN — Although only 116 votes were cast locally, the treasurer of the Champaign County Republican Party said the state party's first-ever online and in-person straw poll was a success.

In Champaign County in-person voting, Herman Cain was the winner with 46 percent of the vote, followed by Mitt Romney with 19 percent, Newt Gingrich with 16 percent and Ron Paul with 9 percent. Rick Perry got 7 percent, Jon Huntsman received 2 percent and Rick Santorum got 1 percent. Michele Bachmann failed to get a vote.

Statewide, Paul won the overall vote with 52 percent. He got 66.5 percent of the online vote but only 8 percent of the in-person vote. Conversely, Romney got 7 percent of the online vote statewide but 35 percent of the in-person vote. Cain got 15 percent of the online vote and 29 percent of the in-person ballots cast.

"I was there all day, from 9 (a.m.) to 5 (p.m.), and it was really more about getting our people excited and getting volunteer names, and making sure that people know they can make a difference," said Habeeb Habeeb, treasurer of the local Republican Party, one of the few in the state to host in-person voting at its headquarters. "The biggest thing that hit me was that while only 2 1/2 percent of the voters were African-American, and yet Cain got 46 percent. It heartens me. I like getting the feeling that we're debunking the idea that America factors in race as much as it used to. There are still people that do that, but here he gets almost 46 percent and they're almost exclusively white voters. But he got more than double the next two (Romney and Gingrich)."

Habeeb said some voters probably "were rallying to his side because people were attacking him, kind of like the Clarence Thomas syndrome."

"But I hear that a lot of people like his charisma and the fact that he stands up and speaks and answers people back. A lot of people told us they were voting for Cain."

Whether voting in person or online, those participating in the straw poll had to donate at least $5, to be split between the state and local Republican parties.

"The 116 (in-person voters) seemed low to me but to the people who know — why would you come out for a straw poll and pay five bucks on top of that to support the party? — they said we were very strong. That's another victory, I think," he said.

Some local Republican candidates, or their representatives, also were at the party headquarters passing candidate petitions, Habeeb said.

"Most people stayed around to talk. It was really good. Most people didn't just walk in and walk out like in the general elections. They walked in excited, happy to see our new headquarters, happy to vote and happy to talk. One guy came in with two other people and they stayed for an hour, just chatting," he said. "We saw a lot of people we don't see at our central committee meetings. That's a good sign."

Habeeb, who last week endorsed Romney, said he was not surprised by the results of the Champaign County voting.

"The only three I really hear about are Cain, Romney and Gingrich," he said. "My own impression is that Ron Paul won the state because his people are very organized about showing up for these things."

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natebaux wrote on November 08, 2011 at 8:11 am

cain, romney, gingrigh? its no wonder i cant communicate with anyone in this community.


between the christians, bully cops, theiving low life trash on every other cornor, under 20 IQ students, i have to deal with the politically inept. am i the only one here who takes time to find out what these candidates repersent?


we are being crushed undera moutain of debt, one that cant be repaid. private banks own the FED, which charges the country intrest on all the money it loans, which causes our leaders to raise taxes on businesses, which causes those businesses to pack up and move to a more hospitable business enviornment, leaving the american worker to scramble between 2 low paying jobs...just to be able to keep light on in your house.


please, do the research, and back the only candidate that has been calling for financial reform and a sound fiscal policy.

whatsinitforme wrote on November 08, 2011 at 9:11 am

The mountain of debt we are being ‘crushed’ under is from 30 years of wealthy tax cuts. The only other effect of these wealthy tax cuts is 20 million jobs shipped out of the country. Trickle down does not work, and Ron Paul’s version of feudalism is more of the same. The economy is suffering from a deregulation hangover, banks handing out rubber stamped pick a payment loans for executive bonuses.  The only cure to the deregulation depression is time, much like a binge drinker’s 2 day hangover, and the only cure to the deficit is to repeal the wealthy tax cuts. We are just coming to, covered in vomit, from our binge tax cutting and deregulation session.

Speakerman11 wrote on November 08, 2011 at 10:11 am

Its nice to see some local results and to see what way people are leaning.  Cain is a strong candidate.  Unfortunantly what we do locally means jack squat nationally and even state wide.  Its not a secret that downstate IL is mostly Republican driven, but thanks to the good folks of Cook County, our state always shows up blue.  It disgusts me.

Does anybody else think Rham Emanuel looks like Jafar from Aladdin or Scar from the Lion King?  Just an observation.

STM wrote on November 08, 2011 at 11:11 am

Now that you mention it, yes Emanuel does look like those characters...probably just a coincidence.  Then again, maybe not!

As to Cain being a "strong candidate," I have to disagree.  I think he got into this race on a lark to promote his book and increase his exposure.  He couldn't possibly have believed himself to be viable.  I bet he's as shocked by his progress as the rest of us.  Unfortunately for Cain, his personal life and character flaws will sink him.  We've seen it all before.

Besides, I have never seen a candidate so skilled at doubles-speak in my life.  At what point will Cain figure out that his words are all over the internet and will never go away?

thelowedown wrote on November 09, 2011 at 1:11 am

@speakerman11: Right, lets try to deny the majority of people in the state their voice. Shut up or move.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 13, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Hard to believe at this time that any of the GOP candidates will win the Presidency next Fall.  Of course; many things can happen between now, and then.  With inaction by Congress, many things will happen.  It used to be that the GOP candidates were not involved with sex scandals, a little smarter, and less flip-floppy.  Reality TV, and political commentary must have impacted values, intelligence, and memory in GOP voters.  Romney with Gingrich will be the ticket against Obama.  Who wins really will make no difference with a partisan Congress.   Why not just have a Presidential Survivor Island?  We could, at least, be entertained as they deceive, and compete against each other.