Ron Paul wins Values Voter Summit straw poll

C.J. Ciaramella Contributor
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GOP presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul took first in a presidential straw poll Saturday at the 2011 Values Voter Summit, an annual conference of social conservatives by the Family Research Council.

Paul won handily with 37 percent of the vote — a regular occurrence for Paul, whose supporters often flood straw polls for him. Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain came in second with 23 percent, while Rick Santorum came in third with 16 percent at the weekend summit.

The summit was a chance for GOP presidential hopefuls to strut their religious bona fides before the evangelical Christian vanguard.

Cain delivered one of the most rousing speeches at the convention, receiving numerous standing ovations. Santorum — a well-known social conservative — also did very well with the crowd, despite his low national polling numbers.

Bringing up the rear was Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann with 8 percent, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with 4 percent and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich with 3 percent.

Romney and Gingrich’s stock has slipped with the Values Voter crowd. Gingrich and Romney fell from to 10 and 13 percent in 2010 to 3 and 4 percent today, respectively.

Presidential candidates Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson did not attend.

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