Mike Pence Wins GOP Presidential Straw Poll at Pro-Life Values Voters Summit
by Steven Ertelt
September 18, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana won the 2012 presidential straw poll at the pro-life Values Voters Summit today in the nation’s capital. Pence, considered one of the pro-life leaders in the House of Representatives, finished ahead of other Republicans in the vice-presidential straw poll as well, showing his attraction to social conservatives.
In the presidential beauty contest, Pence led former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the straw poll at the Values Voter Summit in 2009 and who a recent PPP national poll shows leading all Republican comers.
Pence ultimately finished with 24 percent of the vote to 22 percent for Huckabee from the 723 voters at the conference.
Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor finished in a surprising third place after delivering a jovial, joke-filled speech on Friday that took a number of shots at pro-abortion President Barack Obama on a wide variety of policy issues.
New Gingrich finished in fourth place in the straw poll and former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin came in fifth place among the stalwartly pro-life crowd, perhaps giving an indication that she doesn’t have the ability to win the general election in 2012 against Obama — even in the minds of conservative voters.
Romney received 13 percent of the vote followed by Gingrich at 10 percent and seven percent for Palin.
In a press conference following the event,FRC president Tony Perkins said one of the reasons Palin may not have fared as well is simply because she wasn’t present at the conference as was the case with the other top Republican contenders.
"The number one consideration is that she was not here to speak," he said — adding that people appreciate the ability to hear from the potential candidates in person.
Pence also finished at the top of the vice-presidential contest, so prime sponsor Family Research Council declared the runner-up, Palin, the winner of the race for running mate.
Rick Santorum, the pro-life former Pennsylvania senator who gave a serious speech the day prior, came in second place behind Palin (and Pence) in the balloting. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a highly regarded pro-life lawmaker, finished in third followed by pro-life Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina.
Meanwhile, abortion came in first place as the number one issue for the pro-life, conservative voters at the Values Voter Summit, which was also co-sponsored by the American Family Association, America Values, and Liberty University.
Looking at the vice-presidential results, Pence received 16 percent, Palin 15 percent, Santorum 10 percent, Ryan 7 percent, DeMint 6 percent and Huckabee and pro-life Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio also received 6 percent apiece.
Rounding out the top 10 in the presidential race results were Santorum and DeMint at 5 percent each, Bobby Jindal, the pro-life Louisiana governor, received 2 percent as did Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Full Presidential Results (Name, Votes, %)
Mike Pence 170 24%
Mike Huckabee 159 22%
Mitt Romney 93 13%
Newt Gingrich 72 10%
Sarah Palin 51 7%
Rick Santorum 39 5%
Jim DeMint 38 5%
Bobby Jindal 15 2%
Mitch Daniels 13 2%
Chris Christie 11 2%
John Thune 11 2%
Bob McDonnell 10 1%
Marco Rubio 10 1%
Paul Ryan 7 1%
Haley Barbour 6 1%
Ron Paul 5 1%
Jan Brewer 1 0%
Undecided 12 2%
Full VIce-Presidential Results (Name, Votes,%)
Mike Pence 119 16%
Sarah Palin 112 15%
Rick Santorum 75 10%
Paul Ryan 51 7%
Jim DeMint 45 6%
Mike Huckabee 43 6%
Marco Rubio 43 6%
Bobby Jindal 36 5%
Bob McDonnell 31 4%
Chris Christie 25 3%
Mitt Romney 25 3%
Newt Gingrich 24 3%
Jan Brewer 20 3%
John Thune 15 2%
Mitch Daniels 10 1%
Haley Barbour 6 1%
Ron Paul 5 1%
Undecided 38 5%
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