The New York Daily Times reports that Ron Paul is the favored conservative candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012.
Paul was preferred by 31% of voters in the Conservative Political Action Conference’s presidential preference straw poll yesterday, one of the strongest wins in CPAC history.
Sarah Palin, who skipped the group’s conference, came in a distant third with 7% of the vote.
Paul ran for President in 2008 but didn’t come close to claiming the GOP’s nomination.
Mitt Romney, after topping CPAC’s poll for the past three years, came in second, with 22% of the 2400 votes cast.
Ron Paul has become a grass roots, Obama style insurgent, gathering devoted volunteers from every corner of the nation. But many outside the Republican party question whether he has the style, charisma, and general appeal to be able to reach the out to the middle of the political spectrum.
What’s more, his constant cries to end corruption at all levels of the federal government doesn’t really sit well with big donors, who are often served by the kind of corruption he wants to end. So the question then becomes one of whether he will be able to raise the funds to run a successful bid for the R nom.
Palin already has the lead on 2012 bumper stickers, and we certainly haven’t seen the last of Mitt Romney. But the early numbers show that Paul stands to be much more of a force this season than he has in the past.