For the second year in a row, conservatives attending the annual CPAC conference in Washington D.C. have selected Rep. Ron Paul of Texas as the winner of their presidential straw poll.Read the rest here.
Paul received 30 percent of the vote.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts came in second, with 23 percent of the vote. Romney, considered a frontrunner to win the GOP nomination for the 2012 race, was the victor in three consecutive CPAC straw polls before Paul’s victory last year.
The selection of Paul – an isolationist, anti-war fiscal conservative who advocates for the dismantling of the Federal Reserve – as the attendees’ top choice to run for the White House signals a strong libertarian streak of many of the annual conference’s attendees, many of whom are students. Paul raised eye-popping sums on the web during his 2008 presidential run but almost certainly lacks the campaign organization and wide appeal with GOP primary voters to be a serious contender to win the nomination.
OK. Ron Paul can't win the GOP nomination. But what this does signal is that the Neo-Cons and Evangelicals who have taken over the GOP should not assume that they have a lock on libertarian leaning votes. If they nominate someone like Palin a large number of us will simply stay home or vote 3rd party. What this country does not need is just another statist party that is no different than the Democrats except in respect to which aspects of people's lives they want to regulate.