One of the most anticipated things to come with CPAC is the straw poll, and with the results from this year is what Conservatives have been rallying about for the last year or more. The main thing to take away is that strong Conservative/Libertarian issues lead the way.
When it was announced that Texas Congressman Ron Paul was at the top of the list at 31%, there were boos. And then, a resounding applause when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was announced with 22%. But why Paul before Romney? After all, some argue that Romney is the real winner and discrediting Ron Paul. However, when you look at what Paul has been talking about over that last few elections, one can’t help but think that Ron is now getting his turn at the limelight.
Part of the unscientific poll is to get an idea of where people stand on current issues. The theme of this year at CPAC was spending and the size of government. Both are top priority issues both Paul and Romney are proponents of. When asked, “Which ONE of the following comes closest to your core beliefs and ideology,” 80% of the people responded with, “My most important goal is to promote individual freedom by reducing the size and scope of government and its intrusion into the lives of its citizens.”
While favorability was part of the poll, those nembers can change almost at an instant. So again, we are brought back to the issues.
Which of the following issues is MOST, and SECOND MOST IMPORTANT to you personally?
- 52% – Reducing size of Federal Government (35% 1st | 17% 2nd)
- 33% – Reducing Government Spending (12% 1st | 21% 2nd)
- 18% – The War on Terrorism (8% 1st | 10% 2nd)
- 18 % – Lowering Taxes (6% 1st | 12% 2nd) . . . MORE
Taking a look at those numbers really show you what people find important, but it also shows that people are educating themselves on the current issues. They aren’t so concerned about health care, as they are about reducing the size and reach of the government. They are educated about just how much the administration is spending and at what rate. So what should the Republican party do? The poll asked that same question, and people responded with 58% cutting federal spending, 23% reducing the federal debt, and 15% cutting federal taxes.
Going back to trying to discredit Ron Paul would be absurd. He is a viable candidate. As viable as Romney. But, it is how these two build off the momentum created from the convention. Ron Paul has continued to say the same thing over and over again, and he would only have to present his record to prove his viablity against the more popular Mitt Romney.