CPAC Straw Poll

Straight or Bendy?

CPAC Straw Poll results are out

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%

I will not (at this time) be able to move comments from one post to another, so please indulge me while I copy and paste them. I will identify the author, but they’ll appear under my name for the time being.

About Monotreme

Monotreme is an unabashedly liberal dog lover, writer, and former scientist who now teaches at a University in an almost-square state out West somewhere. |
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24 Responses to CPAC Straw Poll

  1. Monotreme says:

    drfunguy says:
    February 12, 2011 at 14:53

    Go Ron Paul!
    Another potential source of a Dem landslide would be him at the top of the ticket.


    Mr. Universe says:
    February 12, 2011 at 16:03

    Ron Paul eh? I thought this was a fluke the first time it happened at the last CPAC. Chalked it up to an overabundance of Paul fanatics. Maybe there’s more to it.

    Mainer says:
    February 12, 2011 at 16:06

    Dad gum it Mono I wrote that whole long list down and you beat me to it on here. Some interesting babble in different corners already on this. From see, see, he be da man from Paul and Romney supporters to meaningless because Paul rigged/gamed the event (hmmmmm someone that can organize some thing……sure as hell don’t want him or they only voted for Romney as a second pick……..damn lot of seconds if that is true and what happened to their first pick, wasn’t there………..they had 15 to pick from how many do they want?)
    Ron Paul – 30% waaaa, waaa he gamed the system waaaaah waaah
    Mitt Romney – 23% Hmmmm he gets 23% of the vote and commentators have yet to be able to find one person there that voted for him.
    Gary Johnson – 6% Gary who? Oh I get it Ron Pauls VP.
    Chris Christie – 6% A VP vote if ever there was one.
    Newt Gingrich – 5% Newster just hang it up your political shelf life hath expired.
    Tim Pawlenty – 4% T’paw will have to do some serious spinning on this one to even begin to make it look not as bad as it is. Maybe that kamikazie senate run isn’t so bad after all, I mean it would keep him employed the next 2 years.
    Michele Bachmann – 4% Some one there should be tasked with finding who the 4% were and then determining if they were Democratic plants.
    Mitch Daniels – 4% Looks like a VP vote to me. Besides he would not look go on a speakers platform with either Palin or Bachmann that whole testosterone imbalance thing I guess. Them having………..nah.
    Sarah Palin – 3% Sarah the political wizzard strikes again. Stand by for nonstop tweets to explain this to the donor dutiful.
    Herman Cain – 2% Any one coming in below Cain (who the bloody hell is this? This is a joke right?)
    Mike Huckabee – 2% This one surprises but I guess this is the penalty for occasionally making sense and having a horrible case of premature jet lag.
    Rick Santorum – 2% Back in my frat days this would have been refered to as a mercy vote or some thing like that.
    John Thune – 2% Not sure this will even count as a VP vote guess he had better hope to move into Kyl’s leadership role…….and keep on hoping and hoping.
    Jon Huntsman – 1% Damn man it can’t be the Mormon thing looking at the rest of the results……..only explanation can be he must have Obama contagion.
    Haley Barbour – 1% Boss Hog came North to test the waters……..and discovered the Potomac is one cold bitch this time of year.

    As this list I think only adds up to 95% it is probable that Mickey Mouse or some one like him beat out as much as half the field.

    So now all we have left to look forward to is the keynote address. Oh that could be a barn burner.

    shortchain says:
    February 13, 2011 at 07:27

    I think the 2012 campaign is going to be a case like the 2008 campaign in the Democratic Party. There’s going to be a surge by one of the relative unknowns, although, given the proclivities of the GOP base, it’s not all that hard to predict:

    a) It will be a white male. The GOP will toy with placing women and minorities in subservient positions or as showy substitutes for real diversity, but they’re just not a diverse bunch — and they’re not growing more diverse at present. Two of the three wings of the GOP, namely the fundamentalist Christians and the big-money folks (the Rove wing) won’t, at present, accept a minority or woman in the top spot.
    b) It will be a governor or ex-governor. The “love” of the GOP for folks with “executive experience” is really more of an obsession, like a user needs a drug. Besides, putting up a person without such “experience” against Obama would be an obvious rebuttal to one of their longest-running and (to them) effective criticisms about Obama.
    c) He will have a relatively small “footprint” that can be used against him. He will either still be in office or have left office because of term limits, not because he lost or quit.

    I’m looking at the list and I’d say that the CPAC attendees are, with a probability of about .95, doomed to suffer disappointment.

    Too bad.

  2. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Actually, shortchain, We the People have tended to prefer executive experience and elect governors to the Presidency. Obama is the exception, rather than the rule (Wasn’t much choice with McCain a sitting senator as well). In the past hundred years, only Obama, Kennedy and Harding were elected from the Senate. That was matched just in the last 30 years by governors, with Reagan, Clinton and Bush II.

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  4. GROG says:

    Cain is a longshot. He has never held political office. Lost a US Senate bid from Georgia in 2004. Has a degree in mathematics from Morehouse and MBA from Purdue. Was chairman of Board of Directors of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He’s a brilliant self made man who made his name in the business world. Worked for the Dept of the Navy, Pillsbury, Burger King, and was CEO of Godfathers Pizza. He was CEO and chairman of the National Restaurant Association.

    He believes in those crazy things like limited government, fiscal restraint, and personal responsibility. He believes the private sector, not government, is what will bring America back. He lived the American Dream and feels it is under attack.

    The fact that he has never held political office could actually help him.

  5. Monotreme says:

    Yes, but GROG, there are plenty of CEOs and ex-CEOs out there. What makes Cain especially qualified to lead the nation vs (say) Donald Trump?

  6. GROG says:

    Mono said: What makes Cain especially qualified to lead the nation vs (say) Donald Trump?

    It may not make him more qualified but that fact that Cain has announced his intentions to run for President seperates himself from other CEO’s and ex CEO’s.

  7. shortchain says:


    As usual, you forget that we also nominated a bunch of people without gubernatorial experience: Johnson, Humphrey, McGovern, Mondale, Gore — all without any history as a governor — and that was just in the last 60 years.

    If we simply count people (ignoring duplicates — which includes Nixon, who could, I suggest, be legitimately counted twice):

    D: 3 ex-governors out of 11
    R: 3 ex-governors out of 7 (4 out of 8 if we include Nixon twice).

  8. shortchain says:


    Since Trump has also rumbled about running, and since Gary Johnson was a CEO before becoming a governor — and don’t forget Mitt Romney — Herman Cain is not the only “business” type in the GOP pack.

  9. mclever says:

    Just for some perspective…

    CPAC 2007 Straw Poll Results:
    Mitt Romney 21%
    Rudy Giuliani 17%
    Sam Brownback 15%
    Newt Gingrich 14%
    John McCain 12%
    Other/Undecided 21%

    CPAC 2008 Straw Poll Results:
    Mitt Romney 35%
    John McCain 34%
    Mike Huckabee 12%
    Ron Paul 12%
    Other 1%
    Undecided 5%

    So, Mitt Romney consistently polls well with the CPAC folks. If we discount his performance (and Ron Paul’s due to potential ballot box stuffing), what I see is a wide field of Republicans who are disunified and undecided about who they think should be captaining the ship. They’ve got a dozen candidates polling at least 1%, but no one except Mitt Romney and Ron Paul over 6%. Looks like a real opportunity for someone to separate themselves from the pack.

  10. Monotreme says:

    mclever says:

    So, Mitt Romney consistently polls well with the CPAC folks.

    Yeah, I got suckered into that deal and lost a buttload of money on Mittens in the 2008 prediction markets (I put my money in the Iowa Electronic Market). I more than made back my Mittens losses by betting on Obama early on, then dumping his “stock” just before the New Hampshire primary, and buying it back just after. I still don’t know if that was luck or instinct, but I lost it all in the 2010 House races.

  11. shortchain says:

    The god of statistics says: you can’t trust self-selected samples sets. (Well, that’s what I’ve always interpreted his hissing to mean. I don’t speak parseltongue all that well.)

    By the way, Monotreme, the god of statistics looks just like Cthulhu, except snakier. I suspect a kinship.

  12. Max aka Birdpilot says:


    In order, VP, VP(didn’t win), Didn’t win anyway, VP(didn’t win), VP(didn’t win).

    And please note that I said “We the People”, not “party nominee”. I was referring to those elected President:

    Taft – Gov. of the Phillipines
    T Roosevelt – Gov. of NY
    Wilson – Gov of NJ
    Coolidge – Gov. of Mass
    F Roosevelt – Gov of NY
    Carter – Gov of Georgia
    Reagan – Gov of CA
    Clinton – Gov. – of Ark.
    Bush – Gov of Tx

    9 of 19 in 100 years. Subtract Ford (never elected), 9 of 18, subtract previous VP experience, 9 of 14.

    Not trying to do battle on the issue, just stating fact.

  13. shortchain says:


    Your point is taken, and I have no argument with your facts.

    I was also not trying to “do battle” on the issue, although I think, as I stated in my first comment, the issue is that the GOP voters of today like their candidates to have “executive experience”. If that’s true, it would give us some guidance into which of the currently visible candidates might be favored.

    I question the utility of going back 100 years. It seems unlikely that a voter in one of those elections will be voting in the upcoming season. There really isn’t even a reason to go back more than 50 years.

    I’d say that, since half of the nominees in the last 100 years were unsuccessful, if the issue is nominations, the person actually elected is only moderately correlated with the person who has success in the primaries. In any case, the general election is too far away for me to think about right now.

  14. Monotreme says:

    Remember when Phil Gramm was the dominant candidate, and was not only going to secure the Republican nomination, but kick Democratic butt?

    I do.

  15. Monotreme says:

    Also see the heading “Past Winners of the CPAC Straw Poll” here:

  16. Brian says:

    “By the way, Monotreme, the god of statistics looks just like Cthulhu, except snakier. I suspect a kinship.”

    Nate Silver does not look like a snake! Or is there a different god of statistics?

  17. parksie555 says:

    CPAC certainly not a representative sample but I was a bit surprised by Huckabee’s poor performance. And also a bit surprised Bachman/Palin did not do better considering the context. And Ron Paul blowing away the field? Pretty confusing set of numbers, I think.

    Mainer’s analysis and Lever’s summary look pretty spot-on to me.

    Did Huck do something in particular lately to piss off the hard righties? I don’t recall anything recent, or even during the ’08 primaries. Although my memory is not what it used to be.

  18. Max,
    I never thought to count Taft. I completely forgot about his Philippines job.

  19. Huck released a man from prison who went on to kill police in Washington state. That might have done it.

  20. Mr. Universe says:

    Re: Huck

    The Pac NW isn’t likely to forget the four Tacoma Police officers anytime soon.

  21. Mainer says:

    I don’t think the pardon has much to do with it if any thing. I do think Huck is now seen as too moderate. One can actually watch his show on Fox a fair amount of the time and not end up testing their gag reflex. Now Huck can be over the top too but he can also put him self forth as lucid and reasonable, two things that much of the rest of the field seems to struggle with.

    If you look at the field as a whole I think you can see a growing awareness that a good portion of this candidate gaggle are seen as the fakes they are even by the rabid right. Ron Paul is Ron Paul. He isn’t saying any thing now he hasn’t been saying for years. Mitt on the other hand I just don’t get. I don’t think he knows what he is so how in blazes can he have the support he appears to have? I have a feeling that most that support him are suffering from some level of verbal delusion. They have no idea what he has said, what he just said or what he may say tomorrow but some how they think they heard what they wanted to hear. As I see it Mitt with a personal Luntz could be even more effective. He still wouldn’t say one damned thing that meant any thing but the sound bites would be crisper.

  22. mclever says:

    Ron Paul wins the CPAC straw poll for the second year in a row, then gets kicked out of the Young Americans for Freedom group (and one of the founding groups of CPAC).

    “It’s a sad day in American history when a one-time conservative/libertarian stalwart has fallen more out of touch with America’s needs for national security then our current socialist presidential regime… Rep. Paul is clearly off his meds and must be purged from public office.” — Jordan Marks, of the prominent conservative group Young Americans for Freedom, on kicking out Tea Party favorite Rep. Ron Paul for his anti-war views.

  23. Mainer says:

    Mac. I don’t think YAF is very damned prominent. Seems more like some one trying to be important or sound important. We have too many groups with fake patriotic names out there all clamoring to be seen or heard to move up the money tree.

    I doubt Mr. Paul looses much sleep over this one.

    I would almost like to put out a fake press release saying that the prominent conservative group Americans Having Only Libertarian Equality Stances has endorsed say Bachmann or Boss Hog. It would mean about as much and at least give a few folks a good chuckle.

  24. Mainer says:

    As if on cue it now appears every one was a winner at CPAC:

    One has to wonder though about Politicos lauding T’paws win at all costs mantle. Yeah just what this nation needs.

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