Ron Paul Sails to Victory in the CPAC Straw Poll

But does it matter?

The Corner is reporting Ron Paul Runs Away With CPAC Straw Poll
As expected, Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) won the annual straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, an early, though unscientific, indicator of conservative favor as the 2012 presidential campaign cycle kicks into gear. Paul, with a 30 percent plurality, topped numerous high-profile White House contenders. He finished seven points ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who placed second. All other candidates finished with less than ten percent of the vote.

This was pretty much expected.  But could it be that the strong showing was a reaction to Donald Trump’s statement?  On Thursday, Trump said that Republican Rep. Ron Paul “cannot get elected. Sorry”  He was met by a chorus of boos.

Is he right?

CNN asks Do straw polls matter?

Jack Kemp won the straw poll in 1987, the year before 1988 presidential election. Vice President George H.W. Bush ended up winning the party’s presidential nomination.

In 1995, Phil Gramm came out on top at CPAC. But Sen. Bob Dole ended up taking the GOP nomination. Gary Bauer was the winner in 1999, but Texas Gov. George W. Bush won the nomination the next year.

In fact, in the history of CPAC straw polls, only Ronald Reagan (1980, 1984) and George W. Bush (2000) have actually won the CPAC straw poll and gone on to win not only the Republican nomination, but also the White House.  Reagan also won the first straw poll in 1976 but lost the nomination to Gerald Ford.

CPAC always generates a buzz.  And it’s certainly the place potential candidates need to be.  But perhaps it’s not an indication to start measuring the White House drapes.

Mitt Romney came in second in this year’s poll with 23%.  None of the other candidates broke 10%.

Donald Trump didn’t even make the list.

Cross posted to Bearing Drift.

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