Forget Pepsi; it appears that veteran Texas congressman Ron Paul is the choice of a new generation. At the New Hampshire Young Republicans Straw Poll and Lobster Bake in New Castle New Hampshire on Saturday, August 20, Paul, taking 45 percent of the total votes, soundly defeated his rivals for the Republican nomination, beating second –place finisher Governor Mitt Romney by over 35 percent of all votes cast.
More embarrassingly for the GOP field, Paul and putative front-runner Romney, who finished with only 10 percent, were the only candidates who finished in double digits—and neither of them were among the candidates who had bothered to come to the event. Among the rest of the battling Republicans, Michigan congressman Thad McCotter and Texas governor Rick Perry tied with 8 percent; Governor Gary Johnson garnered 6 percent; and Ames Straw Poll winner Michele Bachmann tied with CEO Herman Cain, each gaining 5 percent. All other candidates finished with less than 5 percent of the votes cast.
The straw poll results reveal not only that Paul has a commanding position among young GOP adherents, they also hint at the difficulty Bachmann will have maintaining any momentum from Iowa among more liberty-minded conservatives in New Hampshire. Bachmann, along with Paul and others, was a sponsor of the event, and yet finished tied for fifth.
Hat tip: Lew Rockwell's Political Theatre