CPAC Straw Poll Win Goes to Romney

It was a bit suprising to hear so little talk about the Presidential candidates at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).  Perhaps that can be attributed to the lack of excitement many conservatives feel for the candidates. However, in the end, conference attendees were asked to choose their favorite for the CPAC Straw Poll.

There was not much of a presence at CPAC for Ron Paul. Many of the people I spoke to said they were voting for Mitt Romney, not because he was a great pick, but because they think he can win. There was solid support for Rick Santorum, but no great excitement, and Newt Gingrich support seemed limited to some of the older attendees.

Rumors swirled that perhaps Sarah Palin would announce her candidacy during her closing speech, but that was just wishful thinking on the part of some Conservatives frustrated with the menu of candidates to choose from.

In the end, the straw poll went to Romney, receiving 38% of the vote. Final results are as follows:

Mitt Romney 38%
Rick Santorum 31%
Newt Gingrich 15%
Ron Paul 12%

CPAC also polled conference attendees on other various issues, including their choice for Vice President.

From the American Conservative Union:

Other results from the straw poll include responds preferring debt reduction over tax increases, a flat tax over a national sales tax, and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio being the respondents’ first choice for the Republican vice presidential nominee, followed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Others getting votes including U.S. Rep. Allen West of Florida and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.