Ron Paul wins CPAC straw poll; Palin a distant third 

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., won CPAC's presidential straw poll with 31 percent of the vote. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came in second at 22 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin came in third with 7 percent, with Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty close behind at 6 percent.

The straw poll had other interesting results, as well. Eighty percent of the 2,400 conservatives who voted (54 percent of them young people between 18 and 25 years of age) identified themselves primarily as limited-government conservatives, as opposed to being primarily national-security or social conservatives. Forty-four percent had an unfavorable view of RNC Chairman Michael Steele, with just 42 percent viewing him favorably.

Far and away, the highest priority of those participating was to reduce the size of the federal government. Offered an opportunity to name their first and second choices, 35 percent chose this as their top choice and another 17 percent as their second choice for a combined 52 percent. The runner up was cutting government spending, which 12 percent chose as their top priority and another 21 percent made their second choice for a combined 33 percent. These priorities ranked far above cutting taxes (18 percent, first and second choice combined) or ending abortion (10 percent, combined), perhaps reflecting the perceived shortcomings of both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Thirty-three percent of respondents believed that Republicans will win back the House of Representatives this year.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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