Ron Paul Looks to Build in Illinois and Missouri

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: March 16, 2012 1:45 PM
Ron Paul

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas | Credit: Gage Skidmore - Flickr

While he has yet to win a primary and his only caucus win was in the Virgin Islands -- where Mitt Romney got more delegates -- U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas continues his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, focusing on the Illinois primary on Tuesday as he looks to continue his campaign all the way to the Republicans' convention in Tampa in August.

While Democrat incumbent President Barack Obama is an overwhelming favorite to carry his home state in November, Illinois will have a large role in Tampa -- and 69 delegates to boot.

Based on results from the 2008 primary and two polls released on Friday, Illinois is not the most friendly of territory for Paul, who had strong showings earlier in the contest -- including third place in the Iowa caucus and second in the New Hampshire primary back in January. In 2008, Paul placed a distant fourth in Illinois -- which held its primary on Super Tuesday -- taking more than 5 percent of the vote.

Two polls unveiled on Friday show that Paul continues to trail in Illinois. A poll of likely Republican primary voters released by Rasmussen Reports on Friday finds Mitt Romney with a solid lead in the Land of Lincoln. Romney takes 41 percent in the poll, followed by Rick Santorum with 32 percent, Newt Gingrich with 14 percent and Paul lagging with 7 percent. The poll of 750 likely Illinois Republican primary voters was taken March 15 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Another poll unveiled on Friday -- this one from We Ask America on behalf of Fox News Chicago -- also shows Paul in single digits in Illinois. Romney leads this poll of likely primary voters with 37 percent, followed by Santorum with 31 percent, Gingrich with 14 percent and Paul with 8 percent. Ten percent remain undecided. The poll of 1,933 likely Illinois Republican primary voters was taken March 14 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percent.

Still, Paul has shown signs of momentum in the Land of Lincoln this week. At a campaign event at the University of Illinois in Champaign on Wednesday night, organizers planned for 1,200 people. Instead, the event brought in more than 4,600 supporters who came out to listen to the maverick Texas congressman.

Paul is also counting on the support of U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, a veteran of Republican politics in Illinois. Johnson is one of a handful of congressmen -- others include U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Miss., and U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C. -- who are backing Paul’s presidential bid. The congressman’s son -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. -- is also on board.

Johnson, who represents parts of 22 counties spanning across eastern Illinois, was first elected to Congress in the 2000 election cycle and was first elected to the Illinois Legislature back in 1976.

“I am honored to call Ron Paul my colleague and most importantly my friend.  I have always admired Representative Paul but my respect for this great man’s leadership grows more all the time. He is one of the most principled men I have ever met,” said Johnson when he endorsed Paul earlier this week. “Whether it be advocating for troop withdrawal, reducing the reach of our government or reforming the tax code and our health care system, Ron Paul has been unwavering and an ideological champion for all of us.”

While Paul continued to focus on Illinois on Friday with two morning interviews on Chicago radio, his campaign is also hitting Missouri this week. Paul held a rally in Columbia on Thursday and made media appearances in the Show Me State on Friday.

Paul placed a distant third when Missouri held a nonbinding primary back on Feb. 7 which Santorum won in a landslide. However, while there were almost 252,000 Missouri Republicans voting in that primary, not a single delegate was allocated. Santorum won handily with 55 percent followed by Romney with 25 percent and Paul took a distant third with 12 percent, while 4 percent were uncommitted. Three candidates who had already pulled out of the race by that time -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, businessman Herman Cain and Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- all took 1 percent in Missouri.

Missouri holds county caucuses on Saturday -- as a lead-up to conventions at the congressional level in April and a state convention in June -- with 52 delegates at stake.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

Comments (13)

11:46PM MAR 16TH 2012
Missouri and Illinois Ron Paul supporters keep going. Shout out to the young voters for Ron Paul. Repulicians, Democrates, and Independent supporters keep growing.
5:14PM MAR 16TH 2012
Look up "Athens Georgia Fraud" on youtube. I can't seem to post it here. It just came out yesterday and is an EXCELLENT video. Please check it out and pass it on. The GOP is exposed hardcore.
5:17PM MAR 16TH 2012

This is an excellent video, one of the BEST yet at clearly proving GOP Election Fraud. Please check it out and share it! We need to get these practices on tape everywhere that they're happening. (which is EVERYWHERE)
5:10PM MAR 16TH 2012
This election season really shed light on what the Republican Party is all about; they are about big government just like the Democrats are. If you compare Obama and Romney, there really isn't much difference. Both support RomneyObamacare, both supported the bailouts, both get large donations from Goldman Sachs, both support NDAA, both talk about war with Iran.

The one candidate that actually knows what he's talking about when it comes to the economy is for the most part ignored by the cable media. CNBC does cover him; Paul has been on there a few times. Have you ever seen Mitt, Rick or Newt go on there? No. They would make total fools out of themselves if they did. They don't have a clue.
4:59PM MAR 16TH 2012
Ron Paul is the only candidate that is actually addressing the issues that are at the heart of all of our problems.

I hope the people of IN and MO don't get fooled into going with anyone other than Paul. If they do, thinking they'll get something better than we have now, they'll be disappointed just like those who voted for the "Republican Revolution", Bush, and Obama.

It should be easy to see that Ron Paul is an Honest Man offering Honest Solutions, with no BS/Suger Coating. The Ron Paul Revolution will restore us to being a Peaceful, Free and Prosperous Nation once again.

A vote for the others is a vote for nothing but more of the same.

GO Ron Paul 2012 !!!
5:11PM MAR 16TH 2012
Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate who I'll vote for in 2012! All the rest are just more of the same. More than 95% of my fellow Paul supporters will be taking the same road as me. To suggest that Paul's support could be dealt, is quite a foolish notion. But hey, those who see no merit in Dr. Ron Paul are quite foolish people.
Mo Dennis
4:56PM MAR 16TH 2012
Hahaha....really? Ron Paul has my vote. If he is not on the ballot, and I am able to write him in, I shall. I am a die hard conservative Republican who no longer watches FAUX news....please tell the hacks at Fox that it's Ron Paul or no one....and tell them to get some spine and poll the real world.
4:39PM MAR 16TH 2012
I news for ya: Nobody watches Fox Snooze Chicago...expect for people with basic cable access.

I get my news from the internet and not the MSM, so I decide for myself. Ron Paul had my vote in 2008 and he has it now also.

Why? Because he is right on every issue; like it or not.
Zer Yang
4:07PM MAR 16TH 2012
I'd wish Ohio did a lot better on Super Tuesday elections. Ron Paul really is someone we need as the President. All the other candidates, they look like they're just going to keep the government the way it is and keep us bankrupt. I really do hope that things will turn around and Ron Paul wins it big time!
Don Wilson
3:10PM MAR 16TH 2012
Paul won US Virgin Islands primary.
Kevin Derby
3:22PM MAR 16TH 2012
Point taken. While Romney got more delegates there, Paul did win more votes in the caucus. I'll change that. Thanks.
5:05PM MAR 16TH 2012

It's nice to see an author reply to comments.. I appreciate that.

One thing I would agree on with Cam, and you could maybe do some research and ad this to any future stories, is the concocted numbers the main stream media are using on the delegate counts. It's worse than pure conjecture in that they're leading people to believe that they're accurate and that Ron Paul has absolutely no chance. In REALITY, Ron Paul is probably 2nd in the actual delegate counts.
4:30PM MAR 16TH 2012
Hey Kevin, I appreciate the fact that you actually are honest and listed the Virgin Islands as a win for Paul. In reference to delegates, Paul came in first in some states as far as delegate count goes and the media never mentioned it; the media chose to go by the popular vote only. Why mention Romney's delegate count? Loose rules by the media seems awfully agenda driven.

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