Paul got 30 percent, while Romney got 23 percent of the votes of those attending the conference in Washington.
Others were grouped far behind.
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson had 6 percent along with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich got 5 percent. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels were at 4 percent.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin got 3 percent and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee got 2 percent. Palin and Huckabee are two high-profile Republicans who did not attend, while many potential candidates made speeches at the conference.
Paul is a hero to libertarians and has a fiercely loyal following.
The straw poll was co-sponsored by CPAC and The Washington Times.