U.S. Rep. Ron Paul speaks during the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, speaks during the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana June 17, 2011. REUTERS

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, celebrating his recent presidential straw poll win at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans Saturday, said he's captured the imagination of people tired of U.S. involvement in conflicts and worried about the economy.

On NBC's Today show, Paul said his candidacy is a response to endless, undeclared, unwinnable wars dumped on the young people and a soaring national debt, Salon.com reported.

Paul, who at 75 doesn't believe he is too old to be president, said the U.S. shouldn't be warmongers. We shouldn't be the policemen of the world.

Paul won the GOP straw poll, garnering 612 votes, followed by Huntsman with 382. Michele Bachmann took third place with 191 votes, followed by Herman Cain with 104 votes. No other candidate earned more than 100.

Mitt Romney got 74, Newt Gingrich 69, Sarah Palin 41, Rick Santorum 30 and Tim Pawlenty 18.

The conservative and Republican activists in attendance were asked, If the primary election for president were held today, for whom would you vote?

Their choice list was comprised of: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Thaddeus McCotter, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

When the results were announced, Paul supporters cheered, while others, of course, booed. Paul won the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year. Straw polls are often seen as positive indicators of support among the most active members of the party, though many are quick to say they are easily manipulated. A straw poll is simply the counting of anyone who shows up at that moment. The number of voters, generally, is small and self-selected, so there is no real way to extrapolate the results to a larger body, such as all Republicans.

Last year, Romney, who skipped the conference then, and now, won the straw poll, edging Paul out by a single vote.