The State Column 
April 17, 2011
Texas Rep. Ron Paul has won another Republican presidential straw poll.
The Texas Republican won the Lexington county Republican Party presidential straw poll Saturday, taking 16 percent of the 139 ballots cast. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney finished in a tie for second place with real estate mogul Donald Trump, taking 12 percent of the vote.
The straw poll comes as Mr. Paul is said to be preparing for the 2012 Republican presidential campaign. The Associated Press reported Thursday that Mr. Paul’s campaign has finalized paperwork for a presidential exploratory committee and that Mr. Paul will announce his decision soon.
South Carolina is quickly becoming the focus of a number of potential Republican presidential contenders. Mississippi Republican governor Haley Barbour won a similar poll Saturday, taking the Charleston straw poll. Mr. Barbour is seen as a key contender in the state due to his close relationship with South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.