Skip to comments.Ron Paul Runs Away With CPAC Straw Poll : What happened to the rest of the pack?
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, Pauls 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, Im 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 Pauls 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.
Pauls growing following on the right, Norquist predicts, could shake up the 2012 race, especially on issues championed by the Texas congressman, like monetary policy. Its 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, theyre going to be hurt.
At CPAC, Pauls 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 dont 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 Pauls 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%
RP might be a great Treasury Secretary. But not a CinC.
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 !!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They forgot to bring the walkin' 'round money?
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.
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.
“Conservatism” needs to be renamed “Americanism”,
because traditional Americanism is what we’re about.
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.
They would have voted for Lyndon Larouche under the same
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.
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.
There is only one thing that is not subject to audit. And it was congress who made it that way. Thats 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.
Theyre the ones that stabilize exchange rates, and shore up the system when a part becomes shaky. You dont 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.
Read the same thing. 2/3 of attendees did not vote.
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.
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.
Trump was right. You have a better chance electing Santa Claus to be President than you do Ron Paul.
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.
Yeah, I wonder if anyone can remember/recite the winners of last year's straw poll, the year before that, the year before that.....
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!
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Who won the last CPAC straw poll? How well did that individual do in the actual election?