Cain Wins Tea Party Straw Poll, Pawlenty 2nd; Paul Wins Online

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 27, 2011   |   4:25PM   |   Washington, DC

Herman Cain won the straw poll this weekend at a Tea Party summit conference featuring thousands of conservative activists gathering to hear some of the potential presidential candidates.

The Tea Party held a live straw poll during today’s final event and Cain, a pro-life conservative radio talk show host and former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive, won the American Policy Summit’s live poll out of 1,600 votes cast.

He finished with 22 percent of the vote compared with 16 percent for pro-life former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Paul, the Texas congressman who ran for president in 2008 as a Republican, came in third in the live results with 15 percent while pro-life former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin came in fourth with 10 percent and former GOP presidential candidate and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came in fifth with 6 percent.

Meanwhile, Paul won an online straw poll of all Internet viewers of the summit, capturing 49 percent compared to 12 percent for Cain, 9 percent for Palin, 6 percent for pro-life former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and 5 percent for pro-life former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Paul, Cain and Pawlenty all three appeared to do well thanks to appearances at the Tea Party Patriots event — with Cain addressing the activists on Friday night and Paul and Pawlenty speaking live to them on Saturday.

Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, talked with CNN after the release of the votes, and said: “The mood at this summit shows that Tea Party activists are looking for leaders who share our principles of fiscal responsibility and limited government and who will vow to uphold policies that reflect those principles once in office.”

Earlier this month, Paul won the CPAC straw poll earlier this month in a vote that many observers said was rigged by virtue of him bringing in hundreds of college students and paying their way to vote for him.

Paul ultimately received 30 percent of the vote, with Romney placing second with 23 percent. The other potential candidates on the ballot all received about 6 percent of the vote in the CPAC-sponsored straw poll with pro-abortion former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson getting 6 percent, pro-life New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie getting 6 percent as well. Gingrich received 5 percent while Pawlenty and pro-life Governor Mitch Daniels and pro-life Rep. Michelle Bachmann each received 4 percent.