Republicans thrilled with turnout in Hawaii's first caucus

Published: Mar. 14, 2012 at 9:56 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 14, 2012 at 11:01 PM HST
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Larry Lusk
Larry Lusk

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Republicans are celebrating the success of the party's first ever caucus in the islands.  So many people showed up they ran out of ballots and registration forms at some polling stations.  The party says it was a good problem to have.

In all 10,239 people showed up to vote at 41 sites across the state.

Party officials say Mitt Romney stole the show collecting 45 percent of the vote.  Rick Santorum came in second with 25 percent.  Ron Paul was third pulling in 18 percent and Newt Gingrich was fourth with 11 percent.

That means Romney will get 9 out of the 17 total delegates up for grabs in Hawaii.  Santorum should collect 5 and Ron Paul 3.  Gingrich won't get any.  Keep in mind these are still unofficial results and it could still change.

What's more telling, is the huge number of people who turned out to vote surpassing all expectations.

"It was definitely a game changer. We were overwhelmed our volunteers especially were. We did not expect this many to show up and we're very excited. It just shows you the Republican Party is alive and well. It's a game changer," said David Chang, Hawaii Republican Party Chair.

"I'm amazed at how many people are here and the line just goes on and on and the cars are coming through like gangbusters," said Larry Lusk, voter.

The Laie district had the most voters.  Of the 1,200 people who showed up 99 percent voted for Mitt Romney.  Laie does have a large Mormon population and Romney is trying to become the first Mormon president.

The Republicans plan to build on the momentum.  The party collected voter cards from everyone and plans to get people involved in future events as well.

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