Romney wins Illinois straw poll, Fred a distant 2nd

Via CNN:

(CNN)–Mitt Romney added another straw poll victory to his resume Thursday.

Illinois state Republican party chairman, Andy McKenna, said Romney won the Illinois Straw poll at the Illinois State Fair. “Congratulations to Mitt Romney, whose strong showing today indicates he has begun to put together a strong statewide organization,” McKenna said. “There’s no question that Illinois’ demographics closely match those of the United States and this could be an indication as to whom Illinois voters are leaning toward this coming February.”

Here are the full results:

Final results of Thursday’s Illinois straw poll:

1. Mitt Romney – 40.35%
2. Fred Thompson – 19.96%
3. Ron Paul – 18.87%
4. Rudy Giuliani – 11.61%
5. John McCain – 4.12%
6. Mike Huckabee – 3.04%
7. Sam Brownback – 1.08%
8. Duncan Hunter – .65%
9. Tom Tancrado – .33%

Results like this seem like they’re bucking traditional logic. You have Giuliani leading national polls yet he’s a very distant 4th in this straw poll. Perhaps Giuliani is sitting on a weak national lead that doesn’t take into account the local grassroots politics in the mid-west states. Romney has poured millions into these early wins that do little more than give him something to brag about.

Huckabee finished 2nd in Iowa yet he sits at 7th in Illinois.

Bottom line is that Mitt has picked up two victories in early contests. They don’t mean anything officially but he has clearly blown the competition away with his ability to organize and find the votes.