Ron Paul won the CPAC 2011 straw poll on Saturday, aiding a potential run at president in 2012. The straw poll of the 2011 CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) was conducted through 3,742 ballots, all of which had the 15 candidates that could run for President of the United States as a Republican ticket. It’s a predictor, but not necessarily a forecast of the candidate that is most likely to receive the support of the Republican Party heading into the election season. By Paul winning this vote, he gets an early boost in his personal campaigning.
According to CNN, Texas Rep. Paul received 30 percent of the vote, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 23 percent. They were the only two candidates to receive support in the double digits, and it was quite a gap between second and third place in this voting. In a relative tie for third was former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 6 percent each.
It could be very noteworthy that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin finished ninth in the voting of this group, drawing just 3 percent of the total vote. That’s way back in the pack, but it also must be noted she was not in attendance, so that could have possibly hurt her overall numbers. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee didn’t attend either, finishing just behind Palin in the votes with 2 percent of the overall.
This is an early look at how part of the Republican Party feels about the 2012 election season, but all it really serves to do is mark where people stand at the moment. These numbers could be easily eclipsed by good public appearances and productive speeches over the next few months. At that point we will really see who is running for office, and if candidates like Palin or Rudy Giuliani will enter into the fray.
For now though, Paul can use this to spur on his own political action committee and use these numbers to help with fundraising. Romney will most likely be able to do the same, but it is clear the rest of the field will have a lot of work to do in order to bring more of the conservative base to their side.
Full CPAC 2011 Straw Poll Results
Texas Rep. Ron Paul: 30 percent
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: 23 percent
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson: 6 percent
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 6 percent
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: 5 percent
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty: 4 percent
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann: 4 percent
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels: 4 percent
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: 3 percent
Former talk show host Herman Cain: 2 percent
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: 2 percent
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum: 2 percent
South Dakota Sen. John Thune: 2 percent
U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman: 1 percent
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour: 1 percent
Others: 5 percent
Undecided: 1 percent