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“CPAC – Who Voted?”

By Donna Garner

CPAC held its convention at the Marriott Wardman in Washington, D. C., Feb. 9 – 11. 

Today CPAC released the results of its straw poll.

First let me say that CPAC is not one of my favorite organizations because of its deep ties to Grover Norquist.  Al Cardenas is the chairman of CPAC, but Norquist is “the power behind the throne” and serves on the Board of Directors.

First, Norquist is also on the Advisory Council of GOProud, a homosexual organization that wants to get rid of the Defense of Marriage Act.  DOMA defines marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman. 

Second, Grover Norquist has disturbing ties to Hamas-friendly CAIR and to the Arab American Institute. Norquist is married to Samah Alrayyes, a Palestinian Muslim, and has insisted that there is no conflict between Saudi-style Islamic law and the Constitution, calling Islam “completely consistent with the U.S. Constitution and a free and open society.”

Even though the CPAC conference included many leading conservative speakers, we really do not know what ties some of the attendees at CPAC have. We also do not know how many people attended CPAC nor what percentage of them actually voted in the straw poll.

What we do know is what Conservative Statistics reported today, 2.12.12 (http://www.conservativestats.com/2012/02/you-cant-fix-stupid.html ):  

Since CPAC started conducting straw polls in 1976, only three of the nine polls chose the eventual nominee: 1980 and 1984, Ronald Reagan; and 2000, George Bush…  

As for the straw poll, 44% of registrants were students, hardly a representative sampling. You’ll find that the straw poll is especially irrelevant in terms to how it ultimately relates to election day. According to the U.S. Census, only 5% of those who voted in 2010 were ages 18-24.   

Knowing all of this about Norquist and CPAC has given me pause when considering the results of today’s CPAC straw poll:  


Romney – 38%

Santorum – 31%

Gingrich – 15%

Paul – 12%  

One thing is for sure: Mitt Romney certainly does not have the nomination tied up since 58% of the CPAC straw poll voters cast their ballots against Romney.  

A conservative leader who was covering this year’s CPAC and attended and covered last year’s wrote to me a few minutes ago and stated, “Interesting to note there were not the paid Paulbots at CPAC this year. Instead, there were the paid Mittbots who voted…Santorum is the Clear Conservative and the most electable when you take out the paid Mittbots who voted in the straw poll.”  

Here is some great news for Rick Santorum in Tennessee:  

February 10th, 2012 02:20 PM ET  


 (CNN) – Rick Santorum is running ahead of his rivals in Tennessee, a stronghold of evangelical Christians that votes on March 6, Super Tuesday.  

Thirty four percent of likely Republican primary voters said they were backing Santorum, while 27% named Mitt Romney, 16% backed Newt Gingrich and 13% picked Ron Paul. The poll was taken by American Research Group February 8-9, when voters would have known about Santorum’s sweep of voting contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado.

Among voters who said they support the tea party movement, Santorum led his rivals at 40%. Gingrich was second among the tea party supporters with 21%, and Romney had 17%.  

Santorum’s lead in Tennessee is a strong rebuke to Gingrich, was has been competing with Santorum to present himself as the more conservative alternative to Romney.  

Romney placed third in Tennessee’s GOP primary in 2008, losing to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who was regarded at the time as the leading candidate among social conservatives and evangelical Christians. Sen. John McCain, the eventual nominee, came in second.  

Tennessee’s Republican electorate is staunchly socially conservative: 73% of Republicans in the state identified themselves as “evangelical” or “born again” in 2008 GOP primary exit polls. In total, 58 delegates will be awarded from the Volunteer State.  

The American Research Group poll was taken by phone February 8-9 from 600 likely Republican voters. The sampling error was plus or minus four percentage points. 


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