Denver – Georgia businessman Herman Cain has won the inaugural Western Conservative Summit straw poll by a wide margin, earning 48 percent of the vote. Texas governor Rick Perry was second, with 13 percent.
Coming less than two weeks before the more famous Ames, Iowa, straw poll, more than 500 hundred people voted.
All declared Republican presidential candidates were included in the poll, as well as a few candidates rumored to be strongly considering a 2012 bid. Write-ins were also permitted.
“To keep it fair, the straw poll ballot included a voting line for the only announced Democratic candidate, President Obama, as well as write-in options for any other Democrat and for any third-party candidate,” said John Andrews, the event organizer, in a release.
Organizers hoped that the poll would provide an early peek at conservative voters’ thinking 13 days before its more famous counterpart in the Hawkeye State, but also take the “political temperature” of a key Western battleground state — a “purple” state that President Barack Obama won handily in 2008.
Of the other candidates who spoke this weekend, Rick Santorum picked up 10 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney, who was represented by a surrogate, garnered the same support. John Bolton earned four percent.
Final results (from a release):
The Denver Straw Poll ballot alphabetically listed the following announced and undecided Republican candidates. Their names and percent of votes follows: Michele Bachmann- 9 % John Bolton- 4% Herman Cain- 48% Newt Gingrich- 1% Rudy Giuliani- 0% Jon Huntsman- 0% Gary Johnson-0% Thaddeus McCotter- 0% Sarah Palin- 1% Ron Paul- 2% Tim Pawlenty- 1% Rick Perry- 13% Mitt Romney- 10% Rick Santorum- 10% Paul Ryan received one write-in vote.
The Western Conservative Summit was hosted by Colorado-based conservative think tank, Centennial Institute.