Ron Paul popular with local voters, poll finds

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 23, 2011

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – Although voters in the River Parishes have more pressing matters at hand, with qualifying for the Oct. 22 general election less than two weeks away, nationally voters have already begun to turn their attention to the 2012 presidential election.

The Ames Straw Poll, one of the first indicators for presidential candidates took place a couple of weeks ago. Although voters there chose Michelle Bachmann as the front runner, sentiment can vary greatly among regions, so last week L’Observateur asked visitors to its website who they would vote for in 2012.

Ron Paul finished the straw poll in second place but was largely ignored by major news outlets when reporting on the poll’s results. Perhaps these outlets need to start paying attention because Paul was by far the most popular option with those voting in L’Observateur’s poll. He amassed two-fifths of the total vote.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, whose campaign has been on somewhat of a roll lately, came in a distant second with 15 percent of the vote.

The other Republicans did not fare so well with poll respondents. Bachmann led the way for the group with just 5 percent of the vote. Other minor vote getters included Herman Cain, Thaddeus McCotter, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

President Barack Obama was, of course, not listed among straw poll candidates because his party’s nomination is ensured, but his supporters could vote for the “None of the Above” option, and many did as that option garnered more than one-third of the vote. He is not the only name that could fall under that banner, however, as former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer was also not on the ballot in Iowa and, therefore, not included in the L’Observateur poll.

A full breakdown of results follows:

• 5 percent of respondents chose Michelle Bachmann

• 2 percent of respondents chose Herman Cain

• 1 percent of respondents chose Thaddeus McCotter

• 40 percent of respondents chose Ron Paul

• 1 percent of respondents chose Rick Santorum

• 1 percent of respondents chose Newt Gingrich

• 3 percent of respondents chose Mitt Romney

• 15 percent of respondents chose Rick Perry

• 34 percent of respondents chose “None of the above.”