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Illinois GOP Plans Presidential Straw Poll

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(Credit: CBS)

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TAMPICO, Ill. (CBS) – The Illinois Republican Party is planning a statewide straw poll before the 2012 presidential primary election.

Party officials made the announcement Sunday night at an event marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Ronald Reagan. The Illinois GOP says the straw poll will be held on Nov. 5 of this year, and measure the support of Republican presidential hopefuls.

The party’s central committee will determine balloting rules. The rules will be published in time for Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair in August.

The party said in a statement that the straw poll will give Illinois Republicans a “new voice” in determining the 2012 GOP nominee.

“The straw poll will be conducted exactly one year before the 2012 election,” Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said in the statement. “This will help energize our voters while also adding resources for winning races for Congress and state offices.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk added that when it comes to early poling, “New Hampshire and Iowa should not have all the fun.”

The announcement was made alongside four people whom the Illinois GOP identifies as potential presidential candidates, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, and U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.)

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)