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Possible 2012 presidential contenders Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney got the most claps during a luncheon applause poll at this weekend's Caliofrnia Republican Party convention, but GOP Rep. Ron Paul was the top vote-getter in a straw poll organized by one group at the Sacramento confab.

Paul, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, won 17.8 percent of the 202 votes cast in the informal straw poll conducted at a booth run by the Republican Liberty Caucus of California. The Saturday poll was open to convention delegates, party activists and registered Republican voters, the group said.

Romney, the former presidential primary candidate and Massachusetts governor, came in second with 10.9 percent of the vote and former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin followed with 7.9 percent.

The two could-be candidates who spoke at the convention didn't fair as well. The "undecided" category won more votes (5 percent) than either former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton (4 percent) or Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (2 percent), though the poll was conducted prior to Barbour's Saturday night speech.

The group didn't seem surprised by the results.

"Given that Congressman Paul and the RLC share a common commitment to individual rights, limited government, free enterprise and constitutional principles we are happy with the results," said RLCCA Chairman John Dennis

Click here to see the full straw poll results.


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