After the circus at CPAC, including the embarrassment of Ron Paul winning yet another straw poll, a reality check is sorely needed.
As usual, Ron Paul's political action committee purchased large blocks of tickets to CPAC, reselling them at a serious loss, so his rowdy bunch could get to DC and vote for him. This is standard operating procedure for the good doctor. Mitt Romney, who finished second, has been known to buy a straw poll or two himself.
With that in mind, Patrick Ishmael over at Hot Air put together a straw poll of his own. We don't normally report on online polls, but Patrick took extra care to make sure there was only one vote per customer. While not a scientific poll, it does a great amount of enthusiasm for Sarah Palin, among readers of one of the top center-right websites.
Sarah garnered 37 percent of the votes, with the closest competitor, Chris Christie, coming in a very distant second at 11%.
Maintaining her position from our last poll in December, Sarah Palin again stomps the Hot Air Presidential field by a wide and comfortable margin.
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Since this latest poll was initially faced with a fair amount of ACORN-style fake-votery, let me say up front that Palin’s numbers are absolutely legitimate: her block of voters is one of the most active on the web, and they turned out in force for this survey.
In second place is Chris Christie, who also fell in behind Palin in December. Third place is, surprisingly, Mitch Daniels, doubling his percentage take from 5% of the vote last time to 10% this time. A surprising fourth place also goes to Herman Cain, the only candidate really in the race right now, at 8%. I think there’s little doubt that Daniels and Cain benefited from a sort of CPAC-bounce; Christie, still a GOP rock star, may have been hurt by being out of the limelight in the last couple of months. Mitt Romney comes in at fifth, slightly strengthening over his last showing, from 5% to 6%.
Besides the obvious "who do you want to be President?" question, Patrick crafted some interesting side questions as well. One of those asked: "How committed are you to your candidate?":
Online zeal does not necessarily make for eventual Presidents, but it may say something about commitment and a little about the size of the movement. (But not always.) Sarah Palin’s numbers bear out both of these points, notably the former one; while 54% of the average candidate’s supporters consider themselves "very committed" backers, 82% of Sarah Palin voters consider themselves "very committed."
This is an interesting metric. It confirms what most Palin supporters already knew. Once you join the team, you are not likely to look at other options. Sarah Palin's long record of success, and compelling history, translates into strong support. The kind that will work hard in 2012 to make things happen.
Something else. Since the other candidate's strongest supporters barely break the 50% mark, the chances for Sarah Palin to pick up even more support, once she starts actually campaigning is very good. Better than the rest, for certain.
The poll also asks who should be Vice President. This wasn't close either, nor surprising. Allen West is the overwhelmingly choice for her Vice President!.
That would make for quite the formidable ticket.
Check out all of the results from the poll here.