CPAC 2011: Ron Paul Wins the Straw Poll

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 12 2011 5:05 PM

CPAC 2011: Ron Paul Wins the Straw Poll

For the second consecutive year, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., claimed victory in the CPAC presidential straw poll. Paul took 30 percent of the vote, a point down from last year's 31 percent -- but there was no Gary Johnson that year to split votes. Mitt Romney, with 23 percent, was up one point. And Romney, Paul, and Herman Cain were the only candidates whose PACs or exploratory committees had presences in the exhibition halls. But 3742 people voted in the poll, up 56 percent since 2010.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


This victory was expected for... well, for a year. Paul's organization spent $100,000 or so on the event, bringing in excited libertarians who -- and this is a first -- built longer lines and fuller rooms than the ones that Ann Coulter is responsible for. His supporters want him to run for president, but they're thinking a bit about where else to go if he takes a pass; former Gov. Gary Johnson won the second choice category on the ballot, with 15 percent of those votes.

But Paul's supporters, and attendees I talked to generally, were still distracted from the presidential race, more interested in the work of Congress.

"I think people are way too optimistic about 2012," said Kevin DeAnna, the founder of Young People for Western Civilization. "Obama's going to win again. It's going to be a repeat of 1996."

The full first-place results:

Ron Paul - 30%
Mitt Romney - 23%
Gary Johnson - 6%
Chris Christie - 6%
Newt Gingrich - 5%
Tim Pawlenty - 4%
Michele Bachmann - 4%
Mitch Daniels - 4%
Sarah Palin - 3%
Herman Cain - 2%
Mike Huckabee - 2%
Rick Santorum - 2%
John Thune - 2%
Jon Huntsman - 1%
Haley Barbour - 1%

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 17 2014 11:48 PM Spanking Is Great for Sex Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting.
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?