CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) Poll
For the second year in a row, Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, earning 30 percent of the vote. The Texas congressman, known for his libertarian views, ran for president in 2008 but was never a serious contender for the GOP nomination. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a 2008 GOP candidate who is expected to run again, came in second place with 23 percent of the vote. Romney won the previous three presidential straw polls before Paul snapped his streak last year. Many convention-goers booed when the results were announced but the Paul supporters drowned them out with chants of “Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul!” Paul’s consecutive victories in the straw poll have frustrated many GOP faithful who would rather see a more credible contender win.
A CPAC official told Fox News that the big story is not Paul winning again but rather the strength of Romney’s second-place finish. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came in a distant third with 6 percent of the vote, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 5 percent. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels all received 4 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin got 3 percent. Businessman Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and South Dakota Sen. John Thune earned 2 percent. Former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour finished with 1 percent.