Texas Gov. Rick Perry edged former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in a straw poll held at the Maryland State Fair, the state GOP announced Friday.

Perry, who also leads national polls among Republicans, scored 25.8 percent of the nearly 900 votes cast, according to the state party. Romney picked up 21.2 percent.


Republican former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the party's 2008 vice presidential nominee, came in fifth, despite not having indicated a campaign for 2012. That put her ahead of Georgia businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, all of whom have declared their candidacies.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas came in third with 16.8 percent of the votes. Rep. Michele Bachman of Minnesota finished fourth with 12.5 percent.

"From the attendees, we heard a strong desire to turn our nation and state around and a commitment to make Maryland a two-party state," state GOP Chairman Alex Mooney said. "The Maryland Republican Party is committed to giving individuals, families, and businesses a stronger voice in Annapolis and Washington, D.C."

The complete results, as released by the state party, after the jump.

Rick Perry 25.8 percent

Mitt Romney 21.2 percent

Ron Paul 16.8 percent

Michele Bachmann 12.5 percent

Sarah Palin 7.2 percent

Herman Cain 5 percent

Other/Write-Ins 4.4 percent

Newt Gingrich 2.3 percent

Jon Huntsman 2.2 percent

Rick Santorum 1.4 percent


Buddy Roemer 0.5 percent

Gary Johnson 0.3 percent

Thaddeus McCotter 0.3 percent