-By Warner Todd Huston
The first filing date for candidate petitions has now come and gone and those that are going to appear on the Illinois primary ballot is being set. And -- drum roll please -- we can just dispense with this whole primary dealio because apparently Illinois' Republican voters will choose Mitt Romney.
Ah, but you might bristle at this. You might immediately launch into paroxysms of calling me a RINO for picking Romney over all the other worthy GOP candidates for president, right?
Well save your ire.
You see, I am not saying Romney is the best candidate for Illinois. I am saying that he's the ONLY candidate for Illinois… literally.
Mitt Romney was the only GOP candidate for president that had the ground game in Illinois to even get on the ballot with the first filing date.
Below is a screen shot of the Illinois Board of Elections page showing all the candidates for president that filed their petitions:
It is unfortunate that none of the other candidates are on the ballot yet. But, once again, we see that a successful ground game is still as important as ever. And Romney is the only one with a large enough ground game in Illinois to even get on the ballot so far.
So, there you are, Illinois. So far Romney will be your choice because none of the rest of them are yet even on the ballot. The rest do still have until Jan. 6th, so they better get in gear.
I just heard from Team Newt and they say they will have their petitions filed in the next day or so. They wanted to wait until after the Iowa Caucuses, they tell me.
Illinois Review notes that Santorum's campaign is filing, too.