The CPAC straw poll is supposed to be an indicator of whom the conservative movement supports for president. Of course, after Ron Paul’s dumbfounding win last year (which prompted an outpouring of boos from the crowd), it’s hard to tell if the poll is really a prediction of anything significant. As Ben Smith writes at Politico: “The Conservative Political Action Conference’s annual straw poll typically indicates three things: Whom CPAC’s segment of the conservative base prefers for president; who bought tickets for their supporters; and whether Ron Paul is really trying.”
Paul is known for drawing hordes of his zealous supporters to the event by offering cheap tickets and transportation. And, according to Smith, it looks like the congressman is going all out this year:
Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, the a 501(c)4 organization he founded after ending his ’08 campaign, has in fact put together an extensive, and expensive, campaign for the conference. A source close to the conference said the Paul group bought 1,000 tickets to the conference, and a Paul aide told another Republican that they’d recruited at least 700 supporters to vote for him.
Best of luck to Paul in his important straw-poll ventures. And if he does pull off another victory this year, at least pundits will know better than to read too much into it.