Bluffton, South Carolina (CNN) - Texas Rep. Ron Paul won the latest in a string of presidential straw polls being conducted in key South Carolina counties this month ahead of the state Republican Party convention in May.
Paul won the vote at the Lexington County Republican Party convention on Saturday, taking 16 percent of the 139 ballots cast. Lexington is considered a bellwether county in Republican primaries and is home to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, but the party organization there has seen an uptick in libertarian-leaning Paul supporters in recent years.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has done almost no presidential spadework in the crucial early primary state, had another respectable straw poll showing and finished in a tie for second place with business mogul Donald Trump, taking 12 percent of the vote.
Romney finished fourth in a Greenville County straw poll last weekend and second in a Friday night vote at the Charleston County convention.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who won the Charleston straw poll and attended Saturday's Lexington event in person, finished with 10 percent and tied for fifth with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Lexington GOP Chairman Rich Bolen also asked party members to pick their second choice for the Republican nomination. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won that poll with 18 percent of the vote.
In the grand scheme of presidential campaigns, of course, straw polls are only informal surveys conducted by a relative handful of party activists. But they can be helpful in providing an early read on how the GOP's most dedicated voters in key primary and caucus states view the 2012 field.
Some straw polls are more informative than others, however.
Heavily Democratic Orangeburg County hosted its GOP convention on Saturday and ran a straw poll with 30 names on the ballot, including several noncandidates such as former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter and House Speaker John Boehner.
But only 25 Republicans attended the convention.
How many frick'n straw polls do they have in South Carolina? Seems like the whole place is made of straw houses!!
Anything coming out of South Carolina is irrelevant. South Carolina, the home of Jim DeMint and "you lie" Joe Wilson is a bastion if nit wits all belonging to the tea party. Their ideas are irrelevant!
Paul, Barbour...neither one of them have a chance to be POTUS. Just wondering...how long has Paul been trying for the position of POTUS? One would think he would get the hint by now...it is not going to happen. As for Barbour...nope, can't see that one happening either. Did I not hear about Barbour's wife being horrified at the thought of him running for POTUS? Well, I am in agreement with Mrs. Barbour...I am, also, horrified at the thought of Barbour running for POTUS.
It's funny how things like straw polls are significant until Ron Paul wins them.
Notice how the Big Business and Big Government backed Republicans and Tea Party are trying to pretend that the only man that really would reduce government does not exist. Ron Paul 2012.
"This is so NOT of any significance, any more than the Barbour win reported this morning."
# 1 Wins CPAC 2 years in a row
# 2 Leading in all fund raising.
#3 Has an impeccable voting record. Never voting for an tax increase.
#4 Foretold the restate CRASH a decade before.
#5 For 30 years he has given a portion of his Federally allotted budget back to the US Treasury. (The only one doing this)
#6 Only 2008 presidential hopeful that did not go into debt running his (Or her) campaign.
I could on on and on Ron Paul 2012!
How hard is it to win a straw poll in SC? Even I could do it. Just say this: "Obozo is a muslem terrorist who is tranformin communism in this here great nation of the US of A and I won't have none of that!"
BAM! You win.
Keep breaking the camel's back with all of these straws!!
He may be intelligent, but I must respectfully disagree because I haven't seen him fully demonstrate his knowledge of what the full activities that he wants to cut would affect the American public. If you can't figure the lost of income to the federal government by the loss of the IRS (question asked by Tim Russert in 2008 I think), then maybe you should do some figuring. I'd also like to know how the social services that the federal government either provides directly or supports would get replaced. Would the wealthy just all of a sudden step up and support those that need extra assistance because their job isn't pay enough to live on or the living conditions are far too harsh?
WOW, 22 votes out of 139 ! What a meaningful landslide. And among South Carolina Republicans at a Republican gathering.
I'm just underwhelmed . . .
I would be happy to vote Ron Paul in 2012
He who gets the Flat Rate Tax reform discussion going gets my vote.
Progressive taxation is slavery. Prudent spending begins with fair taxation, anything else is lipstick on a pig.
Barbour is a slob racist. Paul is too radical for the majority of people. GOP wouldn't have a chance with these guys.
This is the 6% man in real primary votes.Look it up. 2012 will be just like 2008 for him.
The real winner was Donald Trump who has only been invoved for a few days and did great once again.
So one clown stops off in a little SC county to win a straw poll with about 20 votes from radical righties and another clown in another county wins with 34 votes. If this is the GOBPbagger strategy to win the hearts and minds of average Americans, they'll be going down in a blaze of extreme birthbagger stupidity when the real election rolls around.
no agenda, nothing...what is up...with 30 people, and a meeting in SC....pity...
Apologies go out to Peter Hamby- this will NEVER happen in the real world.
No, it may not be, Rick. However, just the fact that it keeps running along the bottom of the screens of all of the news networks exposes his name to more and more poeple.
This IS significant, and had Romney won it would be FRONT PAGE news played across all govt networks for days. The fact that the media does not give it equitable time should tell you a lot about the integrity of the candidate and his willingness to hold strong to his beliefs rather than simply act as a puppet for the big banks and media owners.