From NBC's Brenda Shepard and Mark Murray
In a surprising result, Texas Congressman and 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul (R) won the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, capturing 31% of the vote. Three-time CPAC straw poll winner Mitt Romney (in '06, '07, and '08) finished second with 22%, followed by Sarah Palin with 7%, and Tim Pawlenty with 6%.
When the announcement of Paul's victory was made, many in the crowd responded with "boos." That said, as people left the convention, "Ron Paul" chants could be heard coming from across the hotel lobby.
Other results from the straw poll: Just 2% approved of President Obama's job; 62% approved of the job congressional Republicans are doing; 73% had a favorable view of GOP Sen. Jim DeMint; 70% had a favorable view of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck; 56% had a favorable view of John Boehner, and 51% had a favorable view of Mitch McConnell.
Though 10,000 were registered at CPAC, just 2,395 participated in the straw poll. Almost half of them (48%) were students, and more than half (56%) were 25 years old or younger. Men made up 64% of participants.