By the time Illinois voters get to weigh in on the presidential race, one Republican strategist expects Donald Trump won't be on the ballot. Illinois' primary will be held on March 15. Former Illinois Republican Party chairman Pat Brady expects the field of candidates to be whittled down to a select few by that date, and doesn't believe Trump has the staying power to be among them. "Trump's a goof and he won't be in the race past probably Iowa, and he's already starting to drop," Brady said.
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The eventual nominee, Mitt Romney, won the 2012 Republican primary in Illinois, with the Iowa winner, Rick Santorum, finishing in second, about 109,000 votes behind Romney. Brady feels Romney "basically won the nomination by winning Illinois." This time around, Brady is endorsing Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the nomination, and believes the real contest will be among candidates with political experience once voters are casting their ballots. "The clown show's coming to an end," Brady said. "Now we have serious candidates appearing here in Illinois, which is an important state and I think Gov. Kasich is probably our best shot to take the White House." Presidential candidates can begin circulating petitions to get on the primary ballot on October 8th.