Here are the results. (Curiously they make you go to their Facebook page to get the full run down. Likely a way to increase the number of people who “like” it.)
Sarah Palin – 22.27%
Mitt Romney – 14.48%
Ron Paul – 11.52%
Mike Huckabee – 10.76%
Newt Gingrich – 10.03%
Herman Cain – 7.14%
Chris Christie – 5.55%
Tim Pawlenty – 3.02%
Jim DeMint – 2.97%
Mitch Daniels – 2.90%
John Bolton – 2.57%
Undecided – 2.55%
John Thune – 1.55%
Haley Barbour – 1.03%
Rick Santorum – <1%
Gary Johnson – <1%
Here is their story (what there is of it) covering the release of the results.
Go here to vote in the Feb. straw poll.
Town Hall is about as conventional conservative “movementy” as they come. I really don’t know what to make of these results. The strength of Palin is not surprising. The relative strength of Romney may be or it may not be. I suspect the average Town Hall reader fancies himself a conservative activist, but is still Republicans to the core and not devoid of political pragmatism. It is not surprising that the alleged front runner, Romney, would place second among that group relative to how he might do among generic Republicans. But that such an obvious flip-flopping opportunist garners much support at all is rather sad. Obviously Paul’s Internet brigade has not yet cranked into high gear for this election. Whether or not his showing is exciting or disappointing depends on what percent of his voters were Town Hall regulars vs. people who just went there to vote for him. If a lot of them were Town Hall regulars then that might be somewhat encouraging.
Barbour, Santorun and Johnson can not be happy about the results.
What is glaring is how awful the field is except for Paul. I don’t consider Johnson an acceptable non-interventionist alternative because he is horrible on immigration and is not rhetorically pro-life. DeMint is solid in many ways, but would have to distance himself significantly from belligerent mainstream “conservative” rhetoric on foreign policy for me to consider him as a possible alternative. As I have said before, Palin and Huckabee have all the right enemies but are too interventionist on foreign policy to deserve support. That jingoistic alarmist buffoons like Gingrich, Bolton and Santorum get any support at all is depressing.
If Paul decides not to run (I think he will run), non-interventionists are going to have to draft a candidate. Rep. John Duncan comes to mind, but I have no idea if he has any interest in running.
If Paul doesn’t run and no non-interventionist steps up, I will be turning my sights to the Constitution Party nomination battle early on.