RICHMOND -- The surprise winner of the 2012 straw poll at the Virginia Tea Patriots Convention -- announced by a literal drum roll -- is Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.). He won 14% of the vote in a 15-way ballot, beating Sarah Palin (13.5%), Ron Paul (12.5%), Newt Gingrich (8.4%), and Jim DeMint (7.3%), in a poll of 1,560 attendees -- at least twice as large as the news-making Values Voter straw poll, if I'm remembering correctly.
Also on the ballot, although the full results weren't read: Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels, Michele Bachmann, Mike Pence, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum -- who actually attended the conference. (Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton also appeared on the poll, sort of as a joke.)