Cain, an Atlanta businessman received 22 percent of the vote among the attendees of the Tea Party gathering in Phoenix, with former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty coming in second with 16 percent and Paul, a GOP congressman from Texas, third, Politico reported.
But Paul was the popular pick by far in the online voting, garnering 49 percent to 12 percent for Cain and 9 percent for Sarah Palin, the former Republican governor of Alaska and 2008 vice presidential candidate, the Washington publication said.
"Mr. Cain and Rep. Paul positions resonated with Tea Party Patriots this weekend and the straw poll indicates the enthusiasm for these strong conservatives," The Hill quoted Mark Meckler, national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, as saying in a statement.
There were roughly 2,000 votes cast in each of the straw polls.