Long-shot GOP candidate wins Tea Party straw poll

Former pizza executive Herman Cain won on Sunday a 2012 presidential straw poll of attendees of a Tea Party conference in Arizona.

Cain won 22 percent of the vote in a straw poll of in-person attendees at the American Policy Summit, the first-ever conference organized by Tea Party Patriots, one of the larger umbrella organizations for Tea Party activists.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R), meanwhile, won nearly 50 percent of the votes cast by 2,300 online straw poll participants.

The win is a minor coup for Cain, the long-shot presidential candidate who's the only one to have actually formed an exploratory committee so far. Behind Cain amongst in-person attendees were former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) at 16 percent and Paul, at 15 percent. All three of them spoke at the convention.

“Mr. Cain and Rep. Paul positions resonated with Tea Party Patriots this weekend and the straw poll indicates the enthusiasm for these strong conservatives,” said Mark Meckler, national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, in a statement.