Rep. Ron Paul is surprise CPAC Presidential straw poll winner
February 21, 2010
(ChattahBox) - With participants identifying “reducing the size of federal government” as their top issue, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, won a blowout victory Saturday in the annual Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll. A stalwart foe of government spending, the 74-year old libertarian captured 31 percent of the 2,400 votes cast in the annual contest, usually seen as a barometer of how the GOP’s conservative wing regards their potential presidential candidates.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney finished second with 22 percent of the vote, ending a three-year winning streak at CPAC. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who skipped the group’s conference, finished third with 7 percent of the vote, followed by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at 6 percent and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence at 5 percent.
The announcement of the results brought gasps, cheers and a round of boos from a packed ballroom. In the straw poll, a majority also said they were dissatisfied with the field of contenders for the 2012 nomination against President Obama. The annual three-day conclave, hosted by the American Conservative Union, ended tonight with an address by Glenn Beck.