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Ron Paul Runs Away With CPAC Straw Poll : What happened to the rest of the pack?
National Review ^ | 02/14/2011 | Robert Costa

Posted on 02/14/2011 7:20:00 AM PST by SeekAndFind

As expected, Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) won the annual straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, an early, though unscientific, indicator of conservative favor as the 2012 presidential campaign cycle kicks into gear. Paul, with a 30 percent plurality, topped numerous high-profile White House contenders. He finished seven points ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who placed second. All other candidates finished with less than ten percent of the vote: former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson snagged six percent, as did Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich won five percent.

For Paul, whose 2008 presidential bid stirred thousands of libertarian-leaning conservatives to the polls, it was repeat performance: He won the CPAC contest last year, buoyed by strong grassroots support. This year, Paul’s highly-organized supporters followed a similar on-site strategy, rallying for the 75 year-old throughout the three-day gathering via panel sessions and heavy politicking in the lobby of the sprawling Marriott Wardman Park. As Paul remarked in his Friday speech, “I’m glad to see the revolution is continuing.”

CPAC brass played down the results. “The straw poll is not a poll; the straw poll is entertainment for the people that are here,” says David Keene, the former president of the American Conservative Union, in an interview with National Review Online. “He won it last time because he was the only one running. Even I could win it if I was the only one running. He is the only one who seems to focus on it exclusively.”

Grover Norquist, the influential taxpayer advocate, tells NRO that Paul’s win is far from meaningless. “If you are running for president, you need to be able to connect with the activists,” he says. “This is a measure of how connected you are to activists, especially the young activists. Some people talk about the money primary — this is the activist primary.”

Paul’s growing following on the right, Norquist predicts, could shake up the 2012 race, especially on issues championed by the Texas congressman, like monetary policy. “It’s like 1988, when Pat Robertson ran for president,” he observes. “Robertson brought a whole collection of people into the Republican party.” While acknowledging that some Republicans find Paul supporters “strange” for their dogged focus on the Federal Reserve, the fresh faces, Norquist says, are “very healthy” for the future of the GOP.

Alexander McCobin, a Paul supporter and founder of Students for Liberty, agrees. “This shows that libertarianism really is what Ronald Reagan said: the heart and soul of conservatism,” he tells us. “Libertarianism — belief in individual liberty, limited government, free markets — these are the principles that should be defining conservatism. If the GOP decides to ignore that lesson, they’re going to be hurt.”

At CPAC, Paul’s maneuvers were not limited to hallway organizing. The rail-thin congressman also generated sparks for his criticism of U.S. foreign policy — a rarity at CPAC. From the dais, facing thousands of conservatives, he shamed both parties for supporting former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. “The people don’t like us propping up their dictators,” he said. “No more than we would like it if a foreign country propped up a dictator in our country.” He also had strong words about ladling cash to U.S. allies. “Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of rich countries and giving it to the rich people of poor countries,” he argued.

Nearly 11,000 conservative activists attended the conference. However, two politicians with vocal backing from attendees — Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee — did not show, making the straw poll a notable, though hardly definitive, glimpse at the emerging field of candidates. The ballot box was also closed on Friday afternoon, hours before two prominent GOP governors, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, spoke, so Paul’s win, though newsworthy, may not carry too much weight in the run-up to 2012.

UPDATE: Full results:

Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) — 30%

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — 23%

Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson — 6%

Gov. Chris Christie (R., N.J.) — 6%

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — 5%

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty — 4%

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) — 4%

Gov. Mitch Daniels (R., Ind.) — 4%

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin — 3%

Former business executive Herman Cain — 2%

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee — 2%

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum — 2%

Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.) — 2%

Amb. Jon Huntsman — 1%

Gov. Haley Barbour (R., Miss.) — 1%

Other — 5%

Undecided — 1%


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cpac; losertarian; ronpaul; strawpoll

1 posted on 02/14/2011 7:20:04 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

RP might be a great Treasury Secretary. But not a CinC.


2 posted on 02/14/2011 7:20:55 AM PST by SoFloFreeper
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To: SeekAndFind

I highly doubt that this so called “Conservative” Political Action group is really conservative.

Just because one can appropriate the use of the word does not mean one meets the definition of the word ( How many communist parties use the word “democratic” for instance?).

Mitt Romney gets 30% of the vote? What a joke !!


3 posted on 02/14/2011 7:22:01 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
CORRECTION

Mitt Romney gets 30% 23% of the vote? What a joke !!
4 posted on 02/14/2011 7:23:04 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Straw polls at events like CPAC are easy to win when you bus in and pay for the lodging and food of your rabble-rousers.


5 posted on 02/14/2011 7:23:50 AM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: SeekAndFind
This just shows you how accurate straw polls are.
6 posted on 02/14/2011 7:23:51 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." -- Barry Soetoro, June 11, 2008)
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To: SoFloFreeper

I highly doubt that this so called “Conservative” Political Action group is really conservative.

Just because one can appropriate the use of the word does not mean one meets the definition of the word ( How many communist parties use the word “democratic” for instance?).

Mitt Romney gets 23% of the straw poll? What a joke !!

I’d say a significant number of those in attendance are RINO’s masquerading as conservatives.


7 posted on 02/14/2011 7:24:13 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
When you provide transportation and lodging for your groupies (Paul and Romney) it is easy to get votes in these meaningless straw pools.
8 posted on 02/14/2011 7:24:48 AM PST by svcw (God in His own time not ours)
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To: SeekAndFind

I was at CPAC and our organization was a sponsor and had a booth. Campaign for Liberty had over 1,000 RP supporters at CPAC to influence the straw poll. It was planned and successfully carried out.


9 posted on 02/14/2011 7:26:30 AM PST by kabar
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m a Ron Paul fan, but even I know it would be a mistake for him to be the Republican party candidate in 2012.


10 posted on 02/14/2011 7:27:22 AM PST by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m a Ron Paul fan, but even I know it would be a mistake for him to be the Republican party candidate in 2012.


11 posted on 02/14/2011 7:27:34 AM PST by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: SeekAndFind
This shows that libertarianism really is what Ronald Reagan said: the heart and soul of conservatism,”

This encapsulates what I am seeing over the last few years, especially through CPAC: there is a concerted attempt to redefine conservatism as libertarianism. I'm curious to see what other FReepers think of this. Was that REALLY the central focus of Reagan's message? And how does it relate to his emphasis on military strength and the greatness of America? Could Ron Paul be called Reaganesque, especially in this regard? I think not . . .
12 posted on 02/14/2011 7:28:12 AM PST by rightwingintelligentsia (Forcing one person to pay for the irresponsibility of another is NOT social justice.)
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To: SeekAndFind
What happened to the rest of the pack?

They forgot to bring the walkin' 'round money?

13 posted on 02/14/2011 7:28:25 AM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (When evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will believe in abject nonsense.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I heard that only 3000+ voted in the straw poll out of 10,000 attendees.

Hardly a representative sample. Voting started BEFORE all of the Candidates Spoke.
Paulies stuff the ballor box and all of a sudden he’s the front runner? I don’t think so. I think it is sad that people are allowing the media to tout this as the difinitive Repub (Conserv) statement on elction candidates.
Truth is Paul doesn’t have a chance in the primaries and we all know it.


14 posted on 02/14/2011 7:28:48 AM PST by Marty62 (Marty 60)
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To: SeekAndFind; nutmeg

For the zillionth time—The CPAC straw poll is stacked toward the candidates who bus in the most screaming kids. In other words, it is not a reliable indicator for presidential preference by voting adults.


15 posted on 02/14/2011 7:29:06 AM PST by NautiNurse (ObamaCare uses Bernie Madoff theory of economics)
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To: SeekAndFind

“Conservatism” needs to be renamed “Americanism”,

because traditional Americanism is what we’re about.


16 posted on 02/14/2011 7:29:46 AM PST by MrB (Tagline suspended for important announcement on my home page. Click my handle.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Not sure what all that’s supposed to mean . . . my money is on Ambassador Bolton to head the ticket and push that skinny Kenyan-born illegal alien out of our White House.

This isn’t American Idol . . . enough with how someone looks . . . let’s get to the character of the man.


17 posted on 02/14/2011 7:31:42 AM PST by laweeks
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To: NautiNurse

They would have voted for Lyndon Larouche under the same
circumstances!


18 posted on 02/14/2011 7:34:39 AM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: SeekAndFind

The results of this poll tell us what CPAC is worth.

No wonder Sarah decided not to go.

Anyone grou who picks Ron Paul First and Romney second isn’t worth the trouble of attending.


19 posted on 02/14/2011 7:35:48 AM PST by Venturer
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To: SoFloFreeper
"RP might be a great Treasury Secretary baffoon. But not a CinC."

Fixed it.

RP has insane monetary ideas. He wants to take us back to the wild year to year inflation/deflation swings and defationary depressions every 20 years that we saw when we were on the gold standard. No Thanks.

Plus RP goes around making people think the Federal Reserve isn't audited at all, when independently audited financial statements for all components of the FED are there on the web for all to see.

2009 Combined Federal Reserve banks - Independent Auditor Report on Page 3

2009 Federal Reserve Board financial statements - Independent Auditor Statement Page 2

Financial Statements of the Federal Reserve Banks (Combined and Individual banks)

Annual Report - Federal Reserve Board 2010 Budget Review.

There is only one thing that is not subject to audit. And it was congress who made it that way. That’s the policy decisions. Of course interest rate policy is announced as soon as the Board of Governors meet. Which pretty much just leaves the Open Market Committee meetings.

They’re the ones that stabilize exchange rates, and shore up the system when a part becomes shaky. You don’t want those decisions public while the FED is actually trying to implement the plan, because people like Soros will work against them. But the money is all accounted for.

20 posted on 02/14/2011 7:38:46 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: Marty62

Read the same thing. 2/3 of attendees did not vote.


21 posted on 02/14/2011 7:41:04 AM PST by TweetEBird007
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To: Oberon

He obviously won’t be the candidate, but he needs to run to force intelligent discussion of the issues. Even when he’s wrong, he tends to force a clear policy discussion, which makes it difficult for the standard pols to blather in their usual dishonest, incoherent way.


22 posted on 02/14/2011 7:41:59 AM PST by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: SeekAndFind

What a joke !!


The last few years have been a joke as far as the winner of the straw polls go.

Romney won them in 07,08,09 and Paul won in 10, 11.


23 posted on 02/14/2011 7:44:16 AM PST by deport
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To: SeekAndFind

Trump was right. You have a better chance electing Santa Claus to be President than you do Ron Paul.


24 posted on 02/14/2011 7:46:30 AM PST by Peter from Rutland
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To: SeekAndFind

Looking back at history.......have any of the top two in the straw polls ever been elected? If not, then the straw poll means nothing.


25 posted on 02/14/2011 7:47:45 AM PST by RC2
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To: Venturer
The results of this poll tell us what CPAC is worth.

Yeah, I wonder if anyone can remember/recite the winners of last year's straw poll, the year before that, the year before that.....

26 posted on 02/14/2011 7:51:35 AM PST by Tonytitan
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To: Peter from Rutland

The sore losers are out in force on this thread!! Of course, these losers would be praising the poll if their candidate had won. I wonder if they also turn over the board when they lose a game of checkers!


27 posted on 02/14/2011 7:51:47 AM PST by Captain Kirk (Q)
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To: SeekAndFind
The only thing this poll proves is that for two consecutive years, Ron Paul has been the turkey in the straw.

Leni

28 posted on 02/14/2011 7:57:23 AM PST by MinuteGal (OK, BOR...NAME the "far-rightists" you always morally compare to the far-leftists. Name names, NOW!)
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To: SeekAndFind

All this fooly-bear senior class president stuff is a lot fun. My question is whether any these fine-feathered young people will get back on the ‘hacienda’ at the end of the day and vote for the GOP candidate. If not they are leeching resources from the conservative core and doing real harm to the poeple. Maybe Paul should search deep whether that’s what he’s really all about.


29 posted on 02/14/2011 7:58:16 AM PST by Calusa (The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles. Quoth Bob Dylan.)
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To: laweeks
This isn’t American Idol . . . enough with how someone looks . . . let’s get to the character of the man.

Unfortunately, for the masses who vote but don't pay much attention to current events, it's all about looks. It's human nature to react positively to someone who looks good, and negatively to someone who doesn't. In addition, there have been numerous studies showing that people don't trust men with facial hair as much as those without. If Ambassador Bolton wants to make a serious run at the presidency, he would do well to shave off the moustache and get a hair cut.

30 posted on 02/14/2011 8:00:21 AM PST by Jess79
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To: Jess79

“Unfortunately, for the masses who vote but don’t pay much attention to current events, it’s all about looks.”

True, true. Lincoln never would have been elected with today’s low standards. It’s like the general public is trying to cast a movie and is looking for the perfect face . . . kinda’ like Romney, sort of. Altho, I’m not sure how Nobama was picked for looks . . . skinny as hell . . . dumbo ears. But, then again, McLame looked tired and crippled (both of which he was).

Pray for our republic. We’re in a lot of trouble.


31 posted on 02/14/2011 8:04:04 AM PST by laweeks
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To: achilles2000

That’s what I think. He may not have a chance at winning. He’s too old. Admittedly I’m not jump up and down enthusiastic with any of the candidates.

Most politicians support views and policies that blow with the wind, and when they speak it is hot air. Paul has been saying the same thing for 30 years on big issues even when everyone criticized and laughed at him such as how the Federal Reserve is destructive, and how we need to end foreign aid, and how our borders need closed and most important how our US Constitution is more important than politics.


32 posted on 02/14/2011 8:11:27 AM PST by apoliticalone (US conservatism does not equal multi-national corporatism)
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To: SeekAndFind

As I recall, Ron Paul “ran away” with multiple straw polls prior to the last Presidential primary election, but it didn’t give him any traction in actual voting.


33 posted on 02/14/2011 8:15:27 AM PST by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, I’m not surprised that that Gay Muslim Rat Grover Norquist supports Ron Paul. But I must say, I think the increasingly irrelevant National Review might at least mention that Ron Paul bussed in a ton of young Paulites to vote for him.

Also, that CPAC has become HomoPac this past couple of years, so fewer and fewer of those who attend have any real conservative values.


34 posted on 02/14/2011 8:20:55 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Captain Kirk
Of course, these losers would be praising the poll if their candidate had won.

Who won the last CPAC straw poll? How well did that individual do in the actual election?

35 posted on 02/14/2011 8:35:33 AM PST by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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