Santorum takes presidential straw poll in South Carolina
April 9th, 2011
12:13 PM ET
4 years ago

Santorum takes presidential straw poll in South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) - Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has visited South Carolina more than any other potential presidential hopeful, and his efforts paid off Saturday with a straw poll win at the Greenville County Republican Party convention.

Santorum was one of three potential candidates to address Saturday’s convention. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also spoke.

Vote-rich and conservative, Greenville County plays a pivotal role in the South Carolina presidential primary, traditionally one of the first states to cast ballots in the presidential nomination process.

Santorum, who arrived early at the convention and donned a Palmetto-patterned pink tie for the day, won the straw poll with 31 percent of the 431 votes cast. Finishing second was Gingrich, who took 14 percent. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and reality television star Donald Trump tied for third at seven percent.

They were followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at six percent.

Barbour tied for fifth with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who won five percent of the vote.

Huckabee won another closely-watched straw poll in populous York County last weekend. Two other key South Carolina counties, Charleston and Lexington, will hold presidential straw polls next weekend.

Barbour’s showing was underwhelming considering his in-person appearance at the event. He spoke to county delegates shortly before the vote and laid on some southern charm.

“It's great to be at a convention where I don't need an interpreter,” he joked at the opening of his remarks. Barbour also flew into town the previous evening to meet with local Republican activists and potential donors at a minor league baseball game.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin finished at four percent. Former pizza magnate Herman Cain came in at three percent, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty took two percent.

The rest of the early and wide-open field finished with one percent of the vote or less. Also on the ballot: Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence and – curiously - activist Al Sharpton won write-in votes.


Filed under: 2012 • GOP • Rick Santorum • South Carolina
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Marjee123

    Certainly knew people from South Carolina were strange. Look at Gov Sanford and they didn't force him to resign. Then they pick this nut. Geezy Peezy Weezy.

    April 9, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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