CHICAGO, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Ron Paul handily won Illinois' first Republican presidential candidate straw poll, results released Saturday night showed.
The libertarian-leaning Texas congressman received 1,907 votes (52 percent). Coming in second was Georgia businessman Herman Cain with 670 votes (18 percent), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 515 votes (14 percent), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 332 votes (9 percent), Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 87 votes (2.5 percent), former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman with 54 votes (1.5 percent), former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 43 votes (1.2 percent) and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann with 41 votes (1.1 percent).
The Chicago Tribune reported people in Illinois could vote for their Republican choice for president by making a $5 donation to the state party either online through voting that began Oct. 29, or in person Saturday at more than a dozen county GOP headquarters across the state.
It was the first time Illinois Republican have tried a statewide straw poll. State party head Pat Brady and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., said they hope it will become a tradition that helps entice presidential hopefuls to spend more time campaigning in the state, the Tribune said.