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July 29, 2015

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Politics:

Western straw poll picks Cain over Romney, Gingrich third

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Sam Morris

Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann are seen in a composite photo before the GOP presidential debate sponsored by CNN on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, at the Venetian.

In the GOP, Nevada is thought of as Romney country.

But in a straw poll conducted at this week’s Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, national frontrunner Herman Cain bested Mitt Romney.

Though it took place in Nevada, the Citizen Outreach straw poll isn’t particularly representative of the local electorate. The approximately 500 ballots cast came from conference attendees who mainly represented Western states including Hawaii, but a few came from as far east as Florida.

Cain came in with 30.8 percent of the vote, while Romney pulled in 29 percent of the ballots cast.

Newt Gingrich came in third with 20.3 percent of the vote.

The rest of the candidates ranked in the single-digit percentages: Ron Paul, who came in second in Nevada’s 2008 caucuses, attracted the votes of 9.8 percent of the straw poll’s participants, and Rick Perry, who has Nevada governor Brian Sandoval’s endorsement, only pulled 3.6 percent.

“Undecided” and former Misssissippi governor Haley Barbour — a write-in — both pulled more support from the straw poll than Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann, both of whom got 1.1 percent of the total vote.

Jon Huntsman, who boycotted last week’s debate to protest Nevada’s January caucus date — which looks like it’ll be changed back to February this weekend — tied with “none of the above” with 0.36 percent.

Polling began the day after the Republican presidential candidates faced off in a debate at the Venetian and concluded Friday.

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