Candidates build strong support on path to the Republican nomination.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 11, 2011 /Christian Newswire
/ -- CHEA of California and the Home School Legal Defense Association joined together Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for the first annual Pacific Homeschool Super Conference in Santa Clara. 1,200 homeschoolers from California, Nevada, and Oregon gathered just south of San Francisco to hear from homeschool experts, buy school supplies, and participate in the Straw Poll and Presidential Forum.
Candidates vying for support of the influential homeschool vote brought messages of education freedom, family values. Former Senator Rick Santorum won the straw poll with 28%. Tim Pawlenty posted a strong second place with 20% followed by Herman Cain holding 16%.
It is easy to see why Rick Santorum, himself a homeschool father, registered a strong win. In his speech he pointed to his time in the Senate where he championed family issues including the right to life. He told the audience it was America that changed the world, and because of the freedom established by the founding fathers the world has changed.
Candidate Tim Pawlenty encouraged parents to stay involved in the education of their children saying "parental involvement is the number one determining factor in a child's academic success" and reminding the audience of the importance of strong families.
Herman Cain, the last candidate to address the crowd ended the conference with a rousing call to action. "The Founding Fathers got it right," Cain proclaimed. He encouraged people to return to the basics and praised the "people's movement" that has taken form in the Tea Party movement.
All the candidates who came to speak were well-received. The results of the straw poll reflected the wide range of homeschool families' opinions including write-in votes for Marco Rubio and votes cast for President Obama. In the end, the results clumped around a few strong candidates indicating the direction homeschoolers are leaning this election cycle.
Complete results are as follows: Santorum 28%, Pawlenty 20%, Cain 16%, Huckabee 13%, (Ron) Paul 7%, Palin 5%, Bachmann 3%, Trump 3%, Gingrich 3% and Obama, Barbour, Thune, Rubio, Daniels, and Johnson all with less than 1%.