For the second year in a row, Ron Paul won the CPAC presidential straw poll, taking home 30% of the votes cast. Mitt Romney came in second with 23% of the vote. The rest of the 16 candidate field shared single-digit levels of support.
Results of the poll were first published by Human Events, with other media organizations following shortly after. The final results were announced to attendees at about 5:30.
Paul’s win was widely expected, as his supporters have packed the halls here (and spent big money to do it.) It’s true that he has a lot of die-hard support, but it’s hard to see the CPAC win today as a sign that he has any kind of a broad base in the GOP electorate
For Romney, who made a big deal out of his 2008 CPAC straw poll win, second place here probably solidifies him as the frontrunner in the early stages of the 2012 presidential race.Also worth noting, but not surprising considering the Paul-heavy vote, was that an overwhelming number of attendees voting in the straw poll identified fiscal issues as their priority.
The number one “goal” was reducing “the size and scope” of the federal government.
Overall, the results of the poll were almost exactly the same as the results of the 2010 poll. That time around, Paul pulled off a surprising win with 31% of the around 2,300 votes cast. Romney came in second with 22%.
As in the past, the CPAC straw poll results represents the views of a small sliver of the crowds that packed the Marriott in DC for the past three days. Organizers said more than 11,000 turned out for CPAC, but the total number of votes cast was closer to 3,700. But that jump was cause for celebration at CPAC, where organizers touted the more than 50% boost in turnout between this year and last.
The complete straw poll results, when the voter’ first and second choice for president were combined into one number:
Rep. Ron Paul (TX): 37%
Ex-Gov. Mitt Romney (MA): 31%
Ex-Gov. Gary Johnson (NM): 21%
Gov. Chris Christie (NJ): 16%
Ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich: 11%
Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN): 10%
Ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN): 9%
Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN): 9%
Ex-Gov. Sarah Palin (AK): 7%
Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR): 6%
Herman Cain: 5%
Ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (PA): 5%
Sen. John Thune (SD): 5%
Ex-Gov. Jon Huntsman (UT): 3%
Gov. Haley Barbour (MS): 3%
Click here for the full PDF of poll results.