In the days leading up to Tuesday's primaries, Ron Paul has been receiving a warm welcome from Rhode Island. Last Wednesday, Paul spoke to a crowd of roughly 2,000 supporters at the University of Rhode Island. Check out his speech below.
Paul promised an emphatic crowd, "They are going to hear from us for a long time. ... A revolution takes time. But it will change our country and that is what we are getting ready to do."
The Republican candidates appearing on the Rhode Island ballot are Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney. Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign however, his name will still appear on the ballot.
Live Updates 8:23 PM ROMNEY DECLARED WINNER. That was quick. Paul comes in second, Gingrich third. Romney has 63% of the vote, Paul has 25%.
8:15 PM With 9% of polls reporting, Romney leads Paul 62% to 25%. Gingrich in distant second.
8:06 Polls Have Closed in R.I., still no results.
8:00 PM Elections officials in Rhode Island said they're seeing only a trickle of voters Tuesday for the state's presidential preference primary.
Tuesday's primary election marks the first time voters statewide are required to show a driver's license or other identification at the polls. Those who lack the right identification are allowed to cast provisional ballots.
Election officials said they've received no reports of problems with the new law.
6:20 PM: RI officials: no problems reported as new voter ID law gets first test in presidential primary:
Rhode Island has seen few problems at polling places resulting from a new voter ID law getting its first statewide test in the state's presidential primary, election officials said Tuesday.
For the first time, voters statewide are being asked to show a driver's license, passport, birth certificate or even a health club ID. Those who lack the necessary identification can cast provisional ballots, which must be approved by election officials before being counted.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, state election officials had only heard of two provisional ballots being cast because a voter lacked the proper ID, according to Chris Barnett, a spokesman for Secretary of State Ralph Mollis.
3:00 PM Ron Paul Surging in R.I.: As PolicyMic Pundit Robin Bugbee so eloquently says:
Is there a primary in Rhode Island?
That just about reflects the impact the Tuesday contests have made on one of the nation’s most Democratically-aligned states.
Rhode Island has long been a presidential primary orphan state. A 2010 Gallup poll showed a 39% to 11% split between Democratic and Republican registrations in the state with 50% of voters classifying themselves Independent.
With the governor, (a declared Independent, but very much left-leaning) both senators, and all Congressmen, and even a crushing majority of the state legislature registered as Democrat, Republicans have an almost impossible task of simply being, heard much less elected in Rhode Island.
Until a spirited battle between Obama and Clinton in 2008, Democratic Presidential Primary candidates largely avoided the Ocean State in favor of larger more competitive states where the outcome was less predictable.
This year, although Democratic forces are out trying to get people to the polls, no one expects more than the party faithful to make the trip to the voting booth and predicted turnout is low.
Local Obama forces are trying to rally supporters to go to the polls and then attend a "Primary Watch Party" in an effort to start organizing the forces that are expected to lead the effort on the president's behalf in the fall.
Since Santorum left the race several weeks ago, the wind has left the sails of the Republican effort in the state. Mitt Romney recently made an appearance to a sparse crowd of less than 500 people that was poorly covered in the local press. Ron Paul drew a large crowd recently at the University of Rhode Island that could impact the primary result only if his student base actually takes the trouble to vote.
Although Republican registration is tiny, with the Tea Party active in the stat Paul could be given a boost. Still, Romney is likely to prevail.
7:00 AM Polls open across the state. There is no Democratic primary in Rhode Island.