Washington (CNN) - The results of the Washington Times CPAC straw poll of presidential candidates are in, and the winner is Texas Rep. Ron Paul, with 30 percent of the vote. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the runner-up with 23 percent.
There were 3,742 ballots cast in the annual survey, which is a chance for devotees to name their pick for president in 2012. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they were generally satisfied with the field of potential candidates and 43 percent said they wished the GOP had a better field of potential candidates. For those surveyed, the size of the federal government was the most important issue to them.
CPAC is an annual gathering of conservatives, which this year served as the first cattle-call of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates.
The full results:
Texas Rep. Ron Paul: 30 percent
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: 23 percent
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson: 6 percent
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 6 percent
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: 5 percent
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty: 4 percent
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann: 4 percent
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels: 4 percent
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: 3 percent
Former talk show host Herman Cain: 2 percent
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: 2 percent
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum: 2 percent
South Dakota Sen. John Thune: 2 percent
U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman: 1 percent
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour: 1 percent
Others: 5 percent
Undecided: 1 percent
It's harder and harder to see how the GOP can avoid a split in 2012, with Ron Paul or some other libertarian running as a third party candidate.
If they do, four more years of Obama. All Paul would have to do is win 10% of the vote to guarantee Obama's re-election, and that seems totally doable, especially with the rise of the libertarian-minded Tea Party.
Obama might have trouble winning 50% of the vote, depending on his GOP opponent, but he'll damn sure win 45, regardless of who he is running against.
When will Conservative go back to being a reference to people who are conservative and not anti-government radicals. This guy wants to stop funding schools, does that sound conservative to you?
That's the best they can do? The Dems should start planning for another 4 years of White House control. Of course, they don't really have anything better to offer than the Republicans. I wish there was a way to block political ads on my TV. I'm dreading them already.
I am sick and tired of the establishment media telling us who can and cannot be chosen. I bet if RON AND RAND PAUL were the republican ticket they could easily defeat Obama. Look at the elites choice Mitt Romney, he is a compromiser, a neo-con like George W., wavers his opinions and views, a rino, yes is slick and funny but at this point our country needs something better. We need someone who follows the constitution, who does what he says he is going to do, who tells the truth even when it is not popular! That to me sounds like Ron Paul! Some say he is too old! I say so what! If an old man like Ron Paul can energize the youth like he has than he can beat Obama! Go RON AND RAND PAUL you have my families and friends support!
Dr. Paul's voting record speaks for itself. The change Obama preached went against his career of capitulation to corporations. Ron Paul isn't 'change you can believe in', but his beliefs can change Washington
The revolution continues....
Go Ron Paul !!! Hope for America ... and the world.
Ron Paul, seriously ? Thanks for playing republican's ! Paul is almost as old and decrepit as John McCain and probably just as unpredictable ! How on earth will he be able to connect with middle America , young voter's and minorities like President Obama can ? Just looking at the cast of character's in this poll, President Obama can beat all of them ! President Obama will win again !
Thank you for this unbiased report, stating facts rather than spin, smears and out and out lies, like just about every other "news" source for Ron Paul's win.
I know it doesn't mean much but if Ron Paul's win helps get real issues such as monetary policy, the Fed, or the problems with global empire and massive spending out in the mainstream, and even a few more people wake up, it's all good. He's fighting for Main Street and he's been doing and saying the same things for 30 years. Ron Paul FTW!
Is this another Sarah Palin Moment. LOL Republicans!!!!! LOL
Interesting results I am interested to see if these results end up similar to the next Republican primaries. I am rather fascinated by how low Palin and Gingrich's percentages were, as well as how high Mitt Romney's percentage was. It is going to be an interesting 2012 campaign to watch.
Thank God! Ron Paul is the only candidate who makes sense!
Now with this assortment of potential candidates with almost no national credentials except for obamahatemongering, you can be sure the democracts wiill control the whitehouse into well, for another 12 yrs
So much for the Republicans' chances to win the Presidency in 2012.
Yes!!! Ron Paul will take the White House in 2012!!!
It's about time true conservative won. The phony conservativesfrom romney and pawlenty to bachmann and palin should all sit back down.
They now play this off as nothing. If Palin or Romney would have won they would make it sound like a big deal. Ron Paul will win in 2012! Join the revolution the Ron Paul Revolution! Ron Paul 2012!
Ron Paul had the strongest support and is a clear leader in conservative politics. I can't wait for the GOP to get behind Ron Paul for a win against Obama!
Interesting that Ron Paul won, but I doubt he will be the nominee, too libertarian to be elected IMO, but would be a huge improvement over what we have in the WH now.
END THE FED! The people are waking up!
So, the republican party platform is going to be a return to the 19th century, then?
Ron Paul ahead of all the pre Madonna's. Goes to show you, you can sell the same bull only for a while. We are all tired of the system, we need a major change.
Awsome for Ron Paul – the guy needs more air time on the big time networks
and not a one will beat president Obama in a general election. Not a one of these folks.
So what – he won it last time too. A small band of zealots does not a candidate make – let alone a POTUS.
Thankfully, Ron Paul's entire base of support shows up at this conference. Outside of this conference he gets 17 votes across America.