Ron Paul Wins Values Voter Straw Poll

By Gautham Nagesh | The Hill
08 October 11

Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) handily won the straw poll for Republican presidential candidates at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday, with the socially conservative crowd giving businessman Herman Cain and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Penn.) second and third places.

Paul, a libertarian-leaning Republican, came in first with 37 percent of the vote, continuing his success among grassroots activists. Paul’s supporters were out in force on Saturday morning for his speech, where he emphasized the role of his faith in informing his policy views.

Florida businessman Herman Cain kept his campaign’s momentum going by finishing second with 23 percent of the vote. Cain, who has surged toward the top of the field since winning a conservative straw poll in Florida last month, stole the show on Friday and appears to have gained some traction among the Republican voters.

Santorum was also greeted warmly on Friday and expected to do well given his strong emphasis on conservative social issues. He finished third with 16 percent.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (Minn.), who won this cycles first straw poll in Iowa, took fourth place with 8 percent in the Values Voter poll.

The news was less positive for the two candidates widely perceived as the front runners for the GOP nod, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who finished with eight and four percent, respectively. The pair drew headlines after the pastor who introduced Perry on Friday took a shot at Romney by labeling Mormonism “a cult.”

Rounding out the straw poll results were former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with three percent of the vote and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a moderate who didn’t participate in the summit and got 0 percent support

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