Sunday, February 21, 2010

CPAC 2010 Straw Poll Results

The 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), hosted by the American Conservative Union, started Thursday, and concluded on Saturday. Somewhere around 10,000 conservative and libertarian activists attended this year's conference - said to be a 20% improvement over last year.

A straw poll was taken, standard fare at CPAC. Here are the results.
CPAC 2010 Straw Poll (Poll details - PDF)
  • Ron Paul - 31%
  • Mitt Romney - 22%
  • Sarah Palin - 7%
  • Tim Pawlenty - 6%
  • Mike Pence - 5%
  • Newt Gingrich - 4%
  • Mike Huckabee - 4%
  • Mitch Daniels - 2%
  • Rick Santorum - 2%
  • John Thune - 2%
  • Haley Barbour - 1%
  • Other - 5%
  • Undecided - 6%
Straw poll of 2,395 CPAC registrants, February 18-20, 2010
Ron Paul continues his track record of winning straw polls (or should we say, over-performing?). This is where the poll needs to be clarified.

Only about 25% of the CPAC attendees bothered to vote in the straw poll. 13% of voters were associated with a CPAC cosponsor (such as the NRA, Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, the John Birch Society, and the highly-controversial GOProud - a gay conservatives group), 32% were individuals (i.e. non-college age), and 48% were students.

Fiscal issues came out way on top for the attendees; pro-life and pro-traditional marriage issues ranked very low. Not an accurate sampling of the grassroots Republican, or the primary electorate.

Age-wise, 54% were between 18 and 25 years old, 19% were 26-40, 14% were 41-55 years, and 10% were over 55 years of age. 64% of voters were male, 30% female, and 6% refused to answer.

So, the typical voter in the straw poll was a young, college-attending male, focused on fiscal issues. In other words, the standard Ron Paul supporter. In light of this, and given the strong libertarian bent of CPAC, I am not surprised that Ron Paul won the straw poll.

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