Pawlenty Wins PLC Straw Poll; Santorum Finishes 9th

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty won the straw poll vote of conservative activists at this year’s Pennsylvania Leadership conference.

Among the 189 votes in the first ballot, Pawlenty outperformed Tea Party-linked businessman Herman Cain who came in second, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, third. You can view the full poll results below.

The PLC, sometimes called “Pennsylvania’s CPAC,” is an annual meeting of PA dating back over two decades. It’s a sort of Tea Party before there was a Tea Party, and it’s a mainstay for statewide Republican candidates.

Home town Senator Rick Santorum finished 9th out of the 11 candidates, beating only Donald Trump and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

Cain led the combined first and second ballots, though many of them were collected before attendees learned that Cain had canceled his scheduled appearance at the conference. Pawlenty and Bachmann tied for 2nd in the combined ballots.

Pawlenty is the first serious GOP contender to have taken the official steps toward the campaign. He launched an exploratory committee in late March.

The former Governor may have benefited from an oblique endorsement by pundit Charles Krauthammer, the keynote speaker of the PLC’s “Liberty Dinner” the night before.

During his speech, Krauthammer emphasized that the Republicans needed a candidate with a clean slate, so that the 2012 presidential campaign can focus on ideas rather than personal baggage.

“I want a candidate who is dull as mud,” quipped Krauthammer. “Someone who will not attract attention but will make the arguments.” Among prospective 2012 candidates, he said Pawlenty best fits the bill.

Rep. Paul Ryan, whose name elicited cheers all weekend, lead the write-in nominations with 5. Jersey Shore’s Snooki garnered 1 write-in vote.

April 9th, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Presidential | 11 Comments

11 thoughts on “Pawlenty Wins PLC Straw Poll; Santorum Finishes 9th”

  1. Not A Math Major, But Can Count says:

    I’m with “Bob.” You get one vote for president, and knowing that, the PLC voters picked Gov. Pawlenty. Herman Cain clearly is popular, but he didn’t win. Arithmetic is not a vast left-wing conspiracy, at least not to my knowledge.

  2. neoCONslayer says:

    The logo is clearly modeled after the logo used by the Ron Paul campaign of 2008 and will likely be used again in his 2012 campaign should he decide to run. A Pawlenty candididacy can hardly be classified as a revolution. His speech at CPAC was platitude after platitude…. no substance.

  3. Bob who voted in this poll says:

    You have one vote for President in the Republican primary. You would vote for your first choice correct? If your first choice was not available, then your second choice would get your vote. The results show Mr. Cain is quite popular, but Mr. Pawlenty would be the first choice of the plurality of voters in this poll. That is how I see it.

  4. Linda in NV says:

    I think it means Pawlenty was the “1st choice” of more voters than Bachmann and Cain.

  5. Jason says:

    The “media” seems to once again think that they will pick our candidate this time too. News flash: not happening. Headline says Pawlenty won? Really? Trying to tell me 2+2=5…

  6. Herman Cain was clearly the winner!

  7. The headline is akin to Dewey beating Truman… The fact is Herman Cain AGAIN sweeps another straw poll!!!

  8. Mark Block says:

    As Chief of Staff for Friends of Herman Cain Presidential Exploratory Committee who attended the Pennsyvania Leadership Conference today and witnessed the results of Herman Cain winning the straw poll, I, like Phil Petty am dumbfounded by the headlines of this post. Indeed one only has to look at the graphs posted that show Mr. Cain winning the straw poll.

  9. Phil Petty says:

    I’m missing something… Cain led the combined first and second ballots… Pawlenty and Bachmann tied for 2nd in the combined ballots.
    How is Pawlenty declared the winner?

  10. David Diano says:

    The problem for Santorum is all the other candidate stealing his “crazy’ mojo. If they were to drop out, the “crazy” would converge on him, like flies to shit. (note: only the “flies” are “analogy”).

  11. Matt S says:

    It’s rather ironic that this group’s logo outlines “love” backwards in their logo — they really do have it all backwards.

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