Conservative leader discounts Paul win
October 10th, 2011
09:44 AM ET
3 years ago

Conservative leader discounts Paul win

(CNN) - The president of the Family Research Council characterized Rep. Ron Paul's weekend win in the Values Voter Summit straw poll as "an outlier."

Tony Perkins, who heads the social conservative group, said the Republican presidential candidate influenced the results by busing supporters to the event, proving his 37% support is not reflective of social conservative backing nationally.

"I think Ron Paul, when you look at everything is an outlier in this poll," Perkins said Monday on CNN's "American Morning." "You see Herman Cain finishing a strong second, followed by Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. Those are more reflective I think of actually the other polls and what's happening in the social conservative community."

Paul, the longtime Texas congressman who is making his third bid for the White House, led the field of GOP candidates including former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain with 23%, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania with 16%, Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 8%, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota with 8%, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 4% and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 3%.

Thanks to strong support from his followers, Paul has come out on top in many of the most prominent GOP presidential nomination straw polls over the past two years. He won the Conservative Political Action Conference contest in 2010 and 2011 and the straw poll at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference earlier this year.

Perkins also connected the sentiments of the Occupy Wall Street movement with those of Paul supporters, over 700 of whom voted in Saturday's survey.

"We should not discount there's a lot of discontent with big ineffective government that's taking place in this country, and I think the Ron Paul campaign reflects that," Perkins said. "The message of his campaign is sending is something other campaigns have to listen to as well."

Romney won the straw poll during his last bid for the White House in 2008 and Perkins attributed his drop to decreased attention over values issues, despite articulating "those values this year" during his speech.

Also see:

Voters bid on the ties off candidates' necks

New website, old attacks on Romney

Jeffress: I’m not ‘Rick Perry’s Jeremiah Wright’

soundoff (240 Responses)
  1. tim

    WAKE UP PEOPLE! Please take the time to learn about Dr. Paul, his beliefs, philosophies, etc. Make up your own mind, and do not let media steer you in one direction or another. Ron Paul 2012!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Grant

    Yes, Paul does have enthusiastic supporters, which by itself is worthy of examination, BUT the media should also consider that Dr. Paul's speech, tying his polices to basic Christian values, resonated with Values Voters Summit attendees. Watch his speech on YouTube and decide for yourselves.

    October 10, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Jay

    For a long time in the GOP and among Democrats, straw polls were considered a great show of a campaign’s organizational strength, and they were also regarded as a measure of a campaign’s momentum toward victory on election day. Some conservative political organizations used to even teach conservative activists how to organize and win straw polls.

    However, when Paul starts to win them, suddenly they’re meaningless. They are so “meaningless” that the Texas GOP had to cancel its straw poll out of fear that Ron Paul would secure an easy straw poll victory over weak incumbent Governor Rick Perry.

    Wait for the next election cycle when Paul is not running; what is left of the vintage media will consider straw polls important again.

    October 10, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Vince

    Ron Paul has no shot at winning the nomination and even less of a shot at winning the general election...but I encourage all of his supporters to vote for him in the general, even when he's not the nominee. Love, Democrats :)

    October 10, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. Chris

    I can't believe Tony Perkins is right about something, but he is dead-on correct. It is a statistical, verifiable, repeatably-demonstrable fact that GOP voters dislike Ron Paul.

    He is the only GOP candidate to consistently score a net disapproval rating, and that disapproval rating is in the 40-50% rang, over twice as high as his approval rating.

    As to the straw poll results, just look at this thread and notice that it is 100% pro-Paul. Then go out and randomly start talking to actual Republican voters and notice that only about one out of five of them actually supports Ron Paul.

    October 10, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. sam dodson

    hmm. i guess i will start discrediting every poll that i do not like from now on. thats right. reality is what i say is.

    October 10, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Bryce

    Ron Paul has a big following, and while the older generation and corporate media tries to deny and discount it, the average young person on the street is usually very supportive of his overall message and values. So every time Ron Paul gets a huge applause at a debate, it's simply a conspiracy because it was overrun with Paul supporters? If that's the case, then at the least they are 10 times more enthusiastic than other candidate supporters. There are hundreds of videos online where you can clearly see the media bias against Ron Paul, sometimes not even mentioning his name when he blows others away at the polls. Only lately has he even been considered "real" by the media. Did I vote for Ron Paul? No, I didn't, but not because I didn't like him. People are quick to call Ron Paul a wacko, meanwhile Romney is a Mormon. Enough said.

    October 10, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. rufus

    Occupy the media and CNN in particular and put an end to this nonsense reporting.

    October 10, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. ama01

    I'm amazed by the number of comments here blasting the article and the author. Ms. Schwartz did not invent this story, neither is she promoting the statements of Mr. Perkins. All she and CNN have done is relate the events that happened and the (slightly skewed) opinion of Mr. Perkins. How is this CNN and the media holding back Ron Paul? In my opinion, this article pretty much just shows the mouthpiece of the Family Research Council to be an idiot, and is a +1 for Ron Paul.

    October 10, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Davis

    What a shock. The evil establishment hates Ron Paul.

    October 10, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Dave

    This is par for the course for these people. Try and discount Paul every chance they get. The two party system is a scam anyway. We are ruled by a one party system but they tell us there are two parties. Why does nothing ever change?

    October 10, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Radsenior

    What's this election coming to? Can't we all just get along? Will this complicate "Who's on first?" Come to think of it, these are all cut from the same Terroristic Economic Activist(TEA) party cloth, so maybe that's what is really going on! It's going to be on hellova Treasonous Erring Anarchist(TEA) party primary!

    October 10, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Jeff

    Ron Paul won that poll fair and square and there's nothing that the biased media can say that will change my thinking about it!

    October 10, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Gandhiknows

    You know the quote "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win."? Well I think we're somewhere in the laugh/attack transition.

    October 10, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. NVa Native

    Perkins and his kind want the US to be a theocracy – they are nothing more the American thaliban.

    October 10, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. Frank

    The entire right wing of the GOP is an outlier.

    October 10, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Jeff in TX

    For now, the Republican run-up is in comedy mode. It will likely switch to tragedy as this keeps up. Tony Perkins has been disgraced. But no mind. He's telling us what we already know – the GOP will not tolerate a Mormon, will not tolerate a "non-believer" like Ron Paul. It's ludicrous. Keep your religion out of my government.

    October 10, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. njp289

    During the 2008 election I always thought that the reason why the media never gave Paul a fair shake was because he was polling low. Now he's polling in third place, and all they can talk about is Perry, Romney, and Cain. Perry is sinking. I have a question for the big three media outlets: When Perry slips into single digits, will you just pretend that it's a competition between Romney and Cain? Why Romney? Why Perry? They're the most vanilla candidates on the stage.

    October 10, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. William

    Mr. Perkins, I am a Christian social and fiscal conservative. I will be voting for Dr. Paul in my state's primary and not someone the media offers as the 'frontrunner'. I will, if necessary, write Dr. Paul's name in at the general election because he is the first politician in my entire life of over 40 years that I truly believe will represent my values. I will not be voting for Cain or any other candidate you or the media suggest.

    October 10, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. kcfield

    I am a strong Cain supporter; yet I congratulate Paul for his win. Why would folks discount a victory without objective evidence? Makes little sense.

    October 10, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Kyle

    Hes just an outlier..says the people getting rich off of the current system. People are waking up and Ron Paul's ideas are spreading. If Ron Paul himself doesn't win there will be others like him in the future. We're not going away anytime soon. Good day.

    October 10, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Cybersport

    When will the Republicans realize this is not a Christian nation? This country is religiously neutral. I'd feel much better about voting for a Republican if they didn't talk about their religious beliefs at every opportunity.

    A person's religious beliefs have nothing to do with their qualifications for the presidency,

    October 10, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. JoeT

    As a likely Obama voter in 2012, I "get" Ron Paul in a way the rest of the republican/evangelical "Christians" (yes, those are quotation marks, and yes they are intentional) don't. He is clearly the least corrupt and most consistent they have in the batch of contenders. While I do respect his consistency, however, it leads to oversimplified solutions that could work in an agrarian and isolated America that ceased to exist at the close of the 19th century. These same solutions are unlikely to work in an information age and more diverse society placed (reluctantly or otherwise) at the forefront of a global framework. As such, I admire many of his ideals, but understand that practicing them would result in the same sorts of human tragedies and failures that mark attempts of implementing pure capitalism, Marxism, or Christianity.

    October 10, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. Iconoclast

    I am not necessarily a supporter of all the Ron Paul platform but I do actually like the man and can see that he is sincere, compassionate, loaded with a lot of common sense, and consistent in his opinions. I do worry that he is overly simplistic in his solutions and ultimately lacks the political backing required to be an effective president (not unlike Obama today). What really strikes me about all of this though is how the republican political machine really works and why they will be incapable of fielding a winner this coming election. Ron Paul is in fact much closer to the populist majority in his statements regarding American policies and practices. As with 2008 and Obama, he is a pretty good barometer of just how dissatisfied we are and the republicans(and democrats) should take heed of this. Of course they never will and I fear this country will continue to stupify its' political environment to the point of absolute dysfunction.

    October 10, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Straw polls mean NOTHING. Anyone with a checkbook can win a straw poll.

    Oh, and Ron Paul is a complete nutjob and not a real Republican.

    October 10, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10