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Pence wins social conservatives’ straw poll
Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican edged ahead of television talk show host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for first place in the Family Research Council's Values Voters Summit 2012 presidential straw poll Saturday.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin placed sixth in the poll at the largest gathering of social and religious conservatives in the country.
Of the estimated 2,000 conference attendees, 723 of them cast ballots. In 2007, the last time people were permitted to vote online as well as in person, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won overall, but Mr. Huckabee won among those voting in person.
FRC President Tony Perkins said the poll results jibe with the results of a number of recent Republican primary elections for federal and state offices.
"Voters support candidates who are truly conservative both fiscally and socially," he said.
A strongly pro-Israel leader of House conservatives who has never shied from criticizing his own party for excessive spending, Mr. Pence has been a favorite speaker at earlier FRC "summits" and at other gatherings on the fiscal and social right since he first won election to Congress.
Both Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Pence delivered well-received speeches at the conference.
Mr. Pence won 170 votes for 24 percent of the total, barely edging out Mr. Huckabee, who took 159 votes for 22 percent.
Mr. Romney was third with 93 votes for 13 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 72 votes for 10 percent.
Mrs. Palin didn't address the two-day conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington and attracted only 51 votes, totaling 7 percent, in front of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who won only seven votes, for 1 percentage point.
Other well-known Republicans took 10 percent or less of the vote.
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About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
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