Rick Santorum, fresh from a dust-up [totally created by the media _ just ask him] with Sarah Palin, managed to get only 2 percent of the support of those participating in the excessivly covered straw poll at this weekend's CPAC conference in Washington. But then Palin, the most recognized conservative in the nation, got just 3 percent, so go figure. The CPAC results are a significant gift to political journalists desperate to find something to cover with nearly a year before any actual votes are cast. Beyond that their value as an insight into much of anything is well beyond the poor powers of comprehension here at Early Returns.
Her's Politico's take:
Texas Rep. Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll Saturday, taking 30 percent of the vote in a huge and divided field for his second victory in as many years.In second place was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who took 23 percent of the vote.
Paul and Romney were widely expected to be the top two finishers, in that order.
A loud mixture of cheers and boos went up when Paul, the libertarian currency hawk who ran for president in 2008, was announced as the victor.
While his fervent base of supporters makes Paul formidable in straw polls, his appeal to other conservatives is limited.
CPAC Chairman David Keene played down the results of the poll before they were announced.
"It is what it is," Keene said. "It's a straw poll. It's not a Gallup poll."
After Paul and Romney, no candidate received more than 6 percent of the vote.
Former New Mexico Gary Johnson and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie both hit that mark, tying for third place.
After them came former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (5 percent); Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann, former Minnesota Gov Tim Pawlenty and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (all 4 percent); and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (3 percent.)
The other six listed candidates — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former pizza executive Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Ambassador Jon Huntsman and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour — all got two percent of the vote or less.