Texas Congressman Ron Paul won a decisive straw poll victory at this weekend’s “Values Voter Summit,” a gathering of leading social conservatives. Paul walked away with 37 percent of the vote, more than 10 points ahead of anyone else. In comparison, the candidates traditionally viewed as the front runners barely even registered.
Does this mean Paul can have his own surge now? Not really.
Paul has been known as a straw poll winner, always performing well in events where he needs to just get his supporters to show up. It’s highly unlikely the Texas Congressman is likely to feel the kind of bump that Herman Cain did after his Florida straw poll win, even if the “values voters” are some of the most powerful groups in the conservative movement.
Meanwhile, former Governor Mitt Romney is still performing well where it really counts — the early states. A recent poll of New Hampshire voters has Romney leading the rest of the GOP contenders 37 percent to 12 percent for Cain, the second place finisher.
In New Hampshire, Paul isn’t even breaking into double digits.
And in Iowa, where Romney traditionally doesn’t compete, conservative pundits are claiming he really might be a contender to win the caucus.
Suddenly a straw poll doesn’t mean so much in comparison.
Photo by R. DeYoung