NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Rep. Ron Paul of Texas has won the presidential straw poll at the Republican Leadership Conference.

The perennial libertarian candidate won 612 votes from the gathering that brings presidential candidates, party elders, grassroots activists and donors. Coming in second place was former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who served three Republican administrations and then worked as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China.

Huntsman got 382 votes, but did not address the conference. Aides said he was ill.

His wife, Mary Kaye Huntsman, came to meet privately with activists.

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a tea party darling, collected 191 votes. Former pizza executive Herman Cain won 104 votes and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney skipped the event and picked up 74 votes. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich got 69 votes.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (8)
  1. Mike says:

    This is fantastic news for liberals. Ron Paul is hated by the establishment on both sides of the isle. He will never win over the main stream populous and will drive a wedge that will fracture the Republican party back to minority control.
    Hats off to the loosertarian party!

  2. Bob D says:

    I got news for you fella, the american people hate the establishment on both sides of the isle. And the main stream populous is fractured. Some of us non-establishment liberals and conservatives believe the government is throwing our money down a rathole making war all over the world. This while China, and Russia, Communist countries and India, a crony capitalist country go around the world to South America and Africa to make friends.And instead of making war they invest in the US and put the rest of their money in infrastructure. Sadly every other Republican and the democratic candidate will continue ths policy regardless of what they say. Obama does not have the guts to pursue a liberal foreign policy. There is no big contributer pushing him to do so.

  3. Lindsay says:

    This is GREAT news! Ron Paul has so much to offer – in fact I wrote him in when voting in 2008…now he might actually have a chance.

  4. swingvoter says:

    Go Ron!! i am an independent and definitely will vote for Ron Paul.
    it is his time..not pleased how the ABC network ignores him and forgets to
    mention him! His ideas are the best for us at this time in history.

  5. Robert says:

    Ron Paul has NO CHANCE! He is beyond the fringes.

  6. betty says:

    Ron Paul: Isn’t that the guy who wants to be the President of No Govornment?

  7. john says:

    He’sssss got my vote!

  8. Barb MN says:

    Ron Paul: No government unless it is a woman’s body. Then government is a good thing. He would even cut the government in Somalia.

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