A House Republican fundraiser last Wednesday night netted an intriguing _ some might say baffling _ cross section of support for Republican presidential candidates, with Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., winning the straw poll as a write-in candidate with 21 percent.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was a close second at 20 percent.
But, then, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, came in a startling third, beating out Rudy Giuliani.
Paul has become the darling of some Republican activists for his anti-Iraq war and anti-immigration stands.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, the personal choice of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, came in a distant fifth, with 11 percent.
House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, said that hundreds of Republican activists, legislators and campaign supporters showed up for the event at St. Paul River Centre. The results, he said, showed that “opinions of the Republican presidential candidates in Minnesota are mixed and up for grabs.”
Here’s the complete list:
Fred Thompson (write-in), Former Tennessee Senator: 21%
Mitt Romney, Former Massachusetts Governor: 20%
Ron Paul, Texas Congressman: 16%
Rudy Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York: 13%
John McCain, U.S. Senator of Arizona: 11%
Mike Huckabee, Former Arkansas Governor: 8%
John Cox, Illinois businessman: 4%
Duncan Hunter, California Congressman: 2%
Tom Tancredo, Colorado Congressman: 2%
Sam Brownback, U.S. Senator from Kansas: 2%
Newt Gingrich (write-in), Former Speaker of the House from Georgia: 2%