Romney, along with former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, did not pay to participate in the straw poll
but will be listed on the ballot.
Though no straw poll
winner ever has won the Republican nomination, the contest has helped and hurt any number of candidacies ahead of the first real votes, the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
Among the lessons he learned then about campaigning in Iowa: "Show up before the straw poll
The Iowa State University rally and straw poll
is seen as the most important poll of the presidential election because Iowa is the first caucus state in the presidential race, though the poll is seen as more of a measure of organization and energy than a guarantee of eventual victory in the February 6 caucus.
The winner of the straw poll
is the candidate who gets the most people to cast a vote at a $30-per-ticket barbecue in Ames.
Paul won the GOP straw poll
, garnering 612 votes, followed by Huntsman with 382.
One presumption is that Romney's gains reflect the visibility that followed his win in the Iowa Republican Party straw poll
last weekend, although data in the new Gallup Poll show that only a third of Republicans nationwide are directly aware that Romney won this unofficial contest.
Put together by Jeff Woodbum, a former state Democratic Party chair, and former Republican House Speaker Harold Bums, the straw poll
results were probably more to the liking of two candidates who lacked either the political fortitude or wherewithal to take part in the Iowa event Rudy Giuliani, who won with 33 percent on the GOP side, and John McCain, who garnered 22 percent
opting out of active campaigning for the straw poll
In the fourth straw poll
Monday, ballots are distinguished between the five veto-wielding powers - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- and the 10 nonpermanent members serving their two-year terms.
Finally, nearly half of the straw poll
voters were under the age of 25.
COM STRAW POLL
BEING CONDUCTED AT CPAC WAS THE OFFICIAL CPAC STRAW POLL