Not wanting Republican presidential candidates to overlook Illinois, the state’s Republican party has scheduled its own straw poll on Nov. 5, exactly one year before Election Day.

Four years ago, the Straw Poll was held in August when Republicans gather at the Illinois State Fair. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the last straw poll with 373 votes from the 922 Republicans who case ballots.

This year’s straw poll aims to sample a broader cross-section of Republican opinion throughout all 102 of Illinois’ counties.

Most Republicans write off Illinois and its 20 electoral votes to President Obama.

But Romney said during his last swing through Illinois May 26 that he considered Obama’s home state to be still “in play … there’s no state that is safe for President Obama given the performance of our economy.”

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