Survey of California Republicans Has Revealing Results

by Dorothy Scheeline // Published February 29, 2012

Read the full press release from Californians for Electoral Reform here.

Californians for Electoral Reform conducted a revealing survey of delegates to the California Republican Party state convention last weekend.  Using a ranked choice voting ballot, they surveyed the delegates about their presidential picks. The results have Newt Gingrich winning in the fourth instant runoff round. More insights from the press release concerning the survey include:

  •  “By enumerating their preferences, California Republican activists give insight into their voting patterns. Ron Paul’s support is deep but not as widespread as his campaign might wish. Only 16 of the 116 voters who did not support Ron Paul as a first choice subsequently chose him as a later preference.”
  • “The most significant news this poll offers is the strength exhibited by Newt Gingrich, especially as the second choice of the overwhelming majority of Rick Santorum supporters. Gingrich shows considerable resilience among activists in the California Republican Party.”


Ron Paul 60
Newt Gingrich 45
Rick Santorum 32
Mitt Romney 30
Herman Cain 2
Chris Christie 2
Michelle Bachmann 1
Rudy Giuliani 1
Jon Huntsman 1
Sarah Palin 1
Donald Trump 1
There were other write-ins, but not as first choices, so they didn't get any votes. They were: Mitch Daniels, Jim DeMint, Fred Karger, Bobby Jindal, Gary Johnson, M. Woodrow Johnston II, Sheriff Richard Mack, Chuck Norris, Rand Paul, Tim Pawlenty, General David Petraeus, Marco Rubio, Ralph Wiggum (Simpsons character), "Anybody but Obama", and "None of the rest".


All write-ins were eliminated simultaneously, and those ballots redistributed to each voter’s
respective second choices. Ballots that list no further preferences for active candidates are
placed in the Exhausted category.
Ron Paul (+3) 63
Newt Gingrich (+4) 49
Rick Santorum (+0) 32
Mitt Romney (+1) 31
Exhausted (+1) 1

Mitt Romney had the fewest votes in round two, so he was eliminated and those ballots
redistributed to each voter’s respective next choice. Note that Romney supporters divide fairly
evenly in their second choices.
Ron Paul (+7) 70
Newt Gingrich (+8) 57
Rick Santorum (+11) 43
Exhausted (+5) 6

Since round three still produced no candidate exhibiting a majority of support, we now eliminate
Rick Santorum. Note that Santorum supporters overwhelmingly make Gingrich second choice.
Newt Gingrich (+35) 92
Ron Paul (+6) 76
Exhausted (+2) 8
So Newt Gingrich, with a clear majority of 92 votes, wins the ranked ballot survey.

Read the full press release.

Read more about instant runoff voting.