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. innerjuju

    Finally!! Conservative names we can actually consider. The Republican party (i.e.- the majority of conservatives in our country) has gone so far off the rails that I, who have been a life-long conservative, am no longer able to vote "conservative" if this means embracing such individuals as Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann. This poll gives me hope I can return to the fold.

    February 13, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. Indy

    Good to hear that the economy and jobs is NOT the most important issue for Republicans. They want smaller Government over job creation, and it is clear that the "Party First People Last" mentality is alive and well in the Republican party and they have no idea on economic issues. They still think starting wars is the answer to foreign poilcy and diplomacy like Obamas is wrong. How can anyone want to move the country back so far by supporting a party that finish destroying the country ?
    The only thing they got right was Ron Paul is the only candidate that can be taken seriously and the only Republican that actually has some ideas and can fully function with the english language. Ron Paul is one of a few that does not make a living from lying about Obama

    February 13, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  3. Freddy

    Well isn't that special...I'm sure that the Dems are dancing in the aisles. Who could be better to run against in 2012 than the guy who suggested that there shouldn't have been civil rights legislation?

    February 13, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  4. Kiss of Death

    winning the cpac strawpoll is the kiss of death, google history and see.

    February 13, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  5. Visionary

    Dr. Paul is our only hope......
    Perhaps this go around Americans will see this and vote accordingly next year

    February 13, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  6. pjfla

    Maybe – just maybe – nitwits like Palin and Bachmann will get a message form this and slink back under their rocks, never to be heard from again.

    Ah well, I can dream, can't I?

    February 13, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  7. Chris

    And he'll be ignored again by the GOP in the primaries. Ain't that a peach?

    February 13, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  8. Mike

    Ron Paul, Really? When this guy speaks I cringe. Sounds silly with misleading "facts". If this is their best I would hate to see their worst.

    February 13, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  9. Me

    What a bunch of disfunctional idiots. The GOP: Party of Donald Trump, Michelle Backman, and Sarah Palin. And the winner is: Ron Paul. I cannot believe how many stupid people there are in this country.

    February 13, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  10. El Kababa

    This poll shows you how unrepresentative Conservatives are of the American population as a whole. Libertarians hover around the 5% level in polls, but 30% of the CPAC voted for the Peter Pan Economic Philosophy called Libertarianism. Crazy.

    February 13, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  11. Save your money.

    We are spending over $40 B on Middle East this year. Just say NO to republicans.

    February 13, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  12. Philip

    Ron Paul...isn't he the Representative that keeps asking Congress to allow the Federal Reserve/Central Banks located in the USA to be audited, for the first time, ever?

    February 13, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  13. fayse

    Thats nice but, didn't he win this poll in 2008 as well? I have no use for Donald Trump but, I think that he is right about Ron Paul. From this list, the GOP/ tea party have no one and no platform.

    February 13, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  14. jeff

    The ones we want never get invited to the debate

    February 13, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. Georgia Jim

    Well even these guys see Sarah isn't up to the job.
    I would like to see Ron run.

    February 13, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. ummm.

    both he and his son are nutcases- crazy as heck.

    February 13, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. TJeff1776

    Well then, thats as solid as they can make it. A good slate. BUT still a question mark. The reputation of being for the rich is
    gonna be hard for the Republicans to live down and one that sticks harder and harder as the years go by. Another thing
    that weighs heavy is wanting to repeal Obamacare without setting forth a replacement- more and more to be a milestone around Repub necks because it identifies them with the Health Industry and NOT the public-at-large.

    February 13, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. swizzo

    the votes are a fraud!!!!! according to beck, hannity, and pigbaugh, palin and bachman are the front runners for the gop. wonder who they are gonna pick to run with this time, ( since the people) , i love that saying, made their choice.

    February 13, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. autom

    Why does Mitt Romney always do fairly well in these polls? He comes off to me with the vibe of a used car salesman. If Ron Paul is #1, then why is Gary Johnson #3? They are similar, and should be positioned right after each other. Considering most of these "Tea Party Candidates" are in favor of preemptive war and the patriot act, I guess I shouldn't be surprised how Paul (liberty minded) and Romney (a neocon) took top 2, because Republicans don't know what the heck they want. I really hope, in his last term, Paul goes full "big L" Libertarian. It would do wonders for the liberty movement.

    February 13, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  20. ysidero

    LOL Only Romney has a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected, and he's a long shot. The rest of these right-wing hacks should shut up and let someone with some workable ideas present them before the electorate. Bachmann, Gingrich, Pawlenty and the rest are just noise.

    February 13, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. Jeff

    I do believe Ron Paul would be the best for this country and for the people.He's a strong christian and if you go back and see what the founding fathers said you would see they said we should elect christians to lead this country and that is what Ron Paul is.
    Thank you

    February 13, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. Gary Davis

    so Bolton thinks the president is wrong? well you old nut job you are wrong our president did the right thing by waiting to see what the people of Egypt. so some one should let you know you are a discustion old poop head . and you should have never been representing our country . you need to go away along with te rest of the republican terd heads america has opened their eyes and now sees the liars for who they are . we might revolt against john boehner and his croonies . what is happing in Egypt can happen here . against the republican establishment . I like most of america support President Obama

    February 13, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. BlackDynamite

    Paul and Romney?
    The GOP would NEVER let Paul get anywhere near The Fed, or the White House
    And Romney couldn't beat McCain, so.........

    This is like picking Moe or Larry!

    February 13, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. S Hills

    He isn't what people are trying to make him out to be. He's another politician and lawyer in Washington. I listen, he says a provocative one liner, than escapes out with really no 'will' to say or do what needs to be done about it. I think he is using us and is a cop-out lawyer like too many taking opportunity with the media.

    February 13, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Nancy Obama

    Love all the libtard comments here. If voted for the narcassist A-hole that runs their village like the idiot that he is. I would keep my mouth shut.

    February 13, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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