WASHINGTON (BP)–Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee easily won a straw poll Sept. 19 testing social conservatives’ preference for the 2012 presidential race, beating Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty and a field of other candidates at Family Research Council Action’s Values Voter Summit.
Huckabee won with 28.5 percent of the vote, more than doubling the percentages by Romney (12.4 percent), Pawlenty (12.2), Palin (12.1) and Mike Pence (11.9). Others receiving votes were Newt Gingrich (6.7 percent), Bobby Jindal (4.7), Rick Santorum (2.5) and Ron Paul (2.2). Just over 5 percent voted “undecided” and 1.7 percent voted “other.” Approximately 600 people voted.
Huckabee’s win was not a surprise. The former Arkansas governor and Southern Baptist minister also won the first Values Voter Summit straw poll in 2007 among on-site voters with 51.26 percent of the vote. But that straw poll was the focus of controversy because it allowed people to vote online, and when including Internet voters, Romney actually edged Huckabee in ’07, 27.62 percent to 27.15 percent. This year’s poll did not allow online voting.
“We were surprised that the event’s turnout was more than double our expectations, clearly showing intensity among social conservatives,” FRC Action President Tony Perkins said in a statement. “This was the first time potential conservative candidates could present their vision for change.”
Compiled by Michael Foust, an assistant editor of Baptist Press.