A straw vote suggests that social conservatives favor Indiana Rep. Mike Pence to head a Republican presidential ticket in 2012. In voting at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit, the Indiana Republican finished a surprise first (24%), ahead of Mike Huckabee (22%), Mitt Romney (13%), Newt Gingrich (10%), and Sarah Palin (7%). About 720 of the 2,000 attendees voted. "We're a long ways from the election," said council chief Tony Perkins. But Pence "represents the qualities and the character that many voters in America are looking for."
Pence also got the most votes for vice president, with Palin in second. Those casting ballots listed their top issues as abortion, government spending, repeal of Obama's health overhaul, protection of religious liberty, and national security. Pence is an evangelical Christian who spoke to the summit yesterday with an emphasis on social issues, notes Politico. The GOP "can create jobs while protecting innocent human life," he declared.