Rep. Ron Paul wins CPAC straw poll
February 12th, 2011
05:24 PM ET
12 years ago

Rep. Ron Paul wins CPAC straw poll

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

Filed under: CPAC 2011
soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. Rob Johnson

    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.

    February 12, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. Adam

    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?

    February 12, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. David M.

    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.

    February 12, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Scott

    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!

    February 12, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. integrity

    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

    February 12, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Faiz

    The revolution continues....
    Go Ron Paul !!! Hope for America ... and the world.

    February 12, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Republican's Are Crazy !

    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 !

    February 12, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. Liberty4ev

    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!

    February 12, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. felton

    Is this another Sarah Palin Moment. LOL Republicans!!!!! LOL

    February 12, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Joe Bolzenius

    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.

    February 12, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. Mike

    Thank God! Ron Paul is the only candidate who makes sense!

    February 12, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. etesot obe

    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

    February 12, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. markiejoe

    So much for the Republicans' chances to win the Presidency in 2012.

    February 12, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  14. Joe

    Yes!!! Ron Paul will take the White House in 2012!!!

    February 12, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. True American

    It's about time true conservative won. The phony conservativesfrom romney and pawlenty to bachmann and palin should all sit back down.

    February 12, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. Brandon

    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!

    February 12, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. Victoria

    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!

    February 12, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. Ed

    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.

    February 12, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  19. Ryan

    END THE FED! The people are waking up!

    February 12, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. Joshua Ludd

    So, the republican party platform is going to be a return to the 19th century, then?

    February 12, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  21. bill

    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.

    February 12, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Greg Soares

    Awsome for Ron Paul – the guy needs more air time on the big time networks

    February 12, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. Shalom

    and not a one will beat president Obama in a general election. Not a one of these folks.

    February 12, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  24. bvilleyellowdog

    So what – he won it last time too. A small band of zealots does not a candidate make – let alone a POTUS.

    February 12, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. james

    Thankfully, Ron Paul's entire base of support shows up at this conference. Outside of this conference he gets 17 votes across America.

    February 12, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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