Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paul takes Idaho poll

Romney follows close behind

Express Staff Writer

Ron Paul

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul felt the love from Idaho this weekend, when hundreds of state voters participated in a straw poll that named him the state's first choice for president.

The poll was held at the Riverside Hotel in Boise on Friday, where 399 Republicans weighed in on their presidential choices. Paul received 173 votes, 43 percent of those polled. GOP candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came in close behind with 34 percent of the vote.

The other candidates fell far behind, with the exception of Rick Perry, whose campaign requested that he not be included on the ballot.

Idaho GOP Chair Norm Semanko congratulated Paul on his victory in a press release on Friday, adding that he hoped the poll would draw candidates to the state.

"It was a packed house tonight, the energy was contagious and the Idaho Republican Party is looking forward to making Barack Obama a one-term president," Semanko said. "We welcome all Republican candidates to visit our great state [and] to discuss issues important to Idahoans."

The straw poll was a nonbinding precursor to the state Republican caucus on March 6. Idaho previously had a primary held in late May.

The Idaho Republican State Central Committee met in Moscow last summer and voted to change the form of the presidential preliminary elections from a primary election for all local, state and federal officials to a presidential-only caucus that will be held on Super Tuesday.

Katherine Wutz:

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