Breaking: Romney wins CPAC straw poll

posted at 4:34 pm on February 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Are you as severely surprised as I am?  Mitt Romney won the last time that Ron Paul didn’t win, and he managed to do it again:

Mitt Romney won The Washington Times/CPAC Presidential Straw Poll on Saturday, and also nipped Rick Santorum as the top choice of conservatives nationwide, according to a new version of the poll conducted for the first time this year that suggests Mr. Romney retains strong support among self-identified conservatives.

Mr. Romney won 38 percent of the straw poll, which counted the votes of 3,408 activists gathered for the Conservative Political Action Conference, which ran from Thursday through Saturday at a hotel in Washington.

Mr. Santorum was second with 31 percent, Newt Gingrich was third with 15 percent and Rep. Ron Paul was fourth with 12 percent — far below his showing the last two years, when he won with 31 in 2010 and 30 percent in 2011.

The results for Paul doesn’t come as much of a shock.  Paul didn’t speak at CPAC, and his faithful contingent was mostly absent from the conference this year. Still, it’s a bit of a shock to see him fall all the way to the bottom.

Romney brought a lot of supporters with him to CPAC, which is exactly what this straw poll measures. In that sense, it’s a bit surprising to see Rick Santorum come as close as he did in second place.  We saw a lot of Santorum posters and signs at CPAC this year, so perhaps the Santorum campaign managed to get that kind of organization in place.  As low on resources they have been, though, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a bunch of tickets for Santorum supporters to attend a three-day conference.  I’d chalk that up to more organic support than organization.

The big surprise, though, was Gingrich’s poor showing.  He also has resource issues now, but CPAC is his crowd.  Normally one would expect Gingrich to score better at this particular conference, especially after a very good speech yesterday.  A distant third was not the result the Gingrich team would have wanted for the story line out of CPAC.  Gingrich does a little better in the Washington Times’ national poll at 20%, but still trails both Romney (27%) and Santorum (25%).


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Now THATS severe!

Utica681 on February 11, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Wingnuts hardest hit.

therightwinger on February 11, 2012 at 4:36 PM

I’m ready for this stupid primary to be over. Let’s nominate Romney, lose in November, and spend the next four years of Obama pointing fingers.

joekenha on February 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Too bad Romney will lose again tonight in Maine. He can only win in rigged polls now lol

davemason2k on February 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Let’s agree early to a moratorium on the “you know who this helps” comments. Pleeeease.

TexasDan on February 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM

also nipped Rick Santorum as the top choice of conservatives nationwide, according to a new version of the poll conducted for the first time this year that suggests Mr. Romney retains strong support among self-identified conservatives.

And thats’s the problem right there. I can self-identify as the King of Canada if I want. Doesn’t make it so. This does nothing to stem Rick’s new opening in the Romney wars. I am severely delighted that Mandate Mitt’s looking to be on the thin ice.

abobo on February 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Not surprising in the least. Those conservatives who are informed and put defeating Obama as job 1 and understand that moderates, independents, and disaffected Democrats will vote for Romney, knew that he was the wisest and only choice. As John Bolton said “He’s conservative enough for me.”

thatsafactjack on February 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Well I guess that’s it. Time to become a Mittbot.

Bill C on February 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

LOL @ the boo’s

SouthernGent on February 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Why do I think Paul getting normal results lead me to believe a lot of Paulbots coordinated to vote Romney, esp. since Romney had no booth presence at CPAC?

BKennedy on February 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

so what? he probably bought votes! it’s just a straw poll!

Pragmatic on February 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Too bad Romney will lose again tonight in Maine. He can only win in rigged polls now lol

davemason2k on February 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Who says money can’t buy everything?

Roy Rogers on February 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Will Newt call for himself to drop out?

Trusser13 on February 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Drudge has Paul getting 15 and Gingrich getting 12.

andy85719 on February 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

I’m ready for this stupid primary to be over. Let’s nominate Romney, lose in November, and spend the next four years of Obama pointing fingers.

joekenha on February 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM

If Obama wins re-election there won’t be any Republican party anymore.

We will have gone with the establishment RINO candidate twice in a row. End result: election of the most power hungry, anti democratic Marxist in the history of our Republic.

The conservatives would be best served by walking away from the RINO party completely and forming our own.

We are, after all, 40% of the country…

wildcat72 on February 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

So Romney stacked the deck, eh?

dforston on February 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

They let OWS in to vote.

tom daschle concerned on February 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

What’s going on in Maine right now? Anybody hear anything? It’s so quiet, it’s almost like it’s not even happening.

dom89031 on February 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

i am severely saddened.

Sachiko on February 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Romney is the new Paul

BoxHead1 on February 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Not surprised at all, severely or otherwise. CPAC has always been friendlier to the economic / libertarian wing of the party than the country at large is.

Stoic Patriot on February 11, 2012 at 4:40 PM

YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Sarah Palin CAN EAT CROW!!!!

FredrickB on February 11, 2012 at 4:40 PM

MITTMENTUM!!

Swerve22 on February 11, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Not surprising in the least. Those conservatives who are informed and put defeating Obama as job 1 and understand that moderates, independents, and disaffected Democrats will vote for Romney, knew that he was the wisest and only choice. As John Bolton said “He’s conservative enough for me.”

thatsafactjack on February 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Do they really believe that about Romney or are they just going by what the media and the Beltway types are telling them? Because I recall the same BS being fed to us about McCain 4 years ago and he lost badly.

Doughboy on February 11, 2012 at 4:40 PM

lol

Kjeil on February 11, 2012 at 4:40 PM

The straw that broke the camel’s back…

right2bright on February 11, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Just give me some Cuda, ok ??

pambi on February 11, 2012 at 4:41 PM

If Mitt weathers this latest storm from Santorum, it will be his last. It looks to me that that’s what’s happening.

And I can live with that. Actually, Mitt’s a much easier candidate for me to support than McCain was.

MaxMBJ on February 11, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Wow. I am genuinely shocked. So the conservatives at CPAC weren’t conservatives conservatives?

Rational Thought on February 11, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Are you as severely surprised as I am?

Still struggling to figure out why this hare-brain used that word. Is he that desperate or just that poorly spoken?

Jaibones on February 11, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!

SouthernGent on February 11, 2012 at 4:42 PM

What’s going on in Maine right now? Anybody hear anything? It’s so quiet, it’s almost like it’s not even happening. dom89031 on February 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

A little too quiet …

MaxMBJ on February 11, 2012 at 4:43 PM

So Romney’s fade continues.

With electability now favoring Santorum, what reasoning is there for voting for the architect of Obamacare V1.0 again?

18-1 on February 11, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Sarah’s on now.

justltl on February 11, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Well I guess that’s it. Time to become a Mittbot.

Bill C on February 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Come on over to our “dark side”. We’ve got light sabers…LOL

rich801 on February 11, 2012 at 4:43 PM

If Obama wins re-election there won’t be any Republican party anymore.

We will have gone with the establishment RINO candidate twice in a row. End result: election of the most power hungry, anti democratic Marxist in the history of our Republic.

The conservatives would be best served by walking away from the RINO party completely and forming our own.

We are, after all, 40% of the country…

wildcat72 on February 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

That’s what I said in ’08 with McCain. I’m walking away this year.

FloatingRock on February 11, 2012 at 4:43 PM

abobo on February 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM

I’d rather have self identified conservatives polled than morons who think they get to decide who conservatives are.

csdeven on February 11, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Well, he got the highest percentage, but that clearly doesn’t mean a whole lot. 38%? Santorum got 31%. And 15% were willing to put it out there for Gingrich, whose stock is low among politically connected types. That’s 46% to 38%.

Add Paul’s 12% and Not-Romney got 58% of the CPAC vote.

I’m not sure how that’s a big win for Romney. What it tells me is that the conservative “establishment” — which is what CPAC is now — is recognizing the need for a different paradigm. Neither Romney nor Paul represents the way ahead.

J.E. Dyer on February 11, 2012 at 4:44 PM

So the RNC stacked the deck and is rapidly destroying all TEA Party influence?
What a surprise.

Tony Soprano on February 11, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Dire Straits on February 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM

i guess we’ll use this one instead :)

what time does she come on?

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Romney still sucks!

I no more will let a straw poll at CPAC convince me that Romeny is worth voting for than I will the Republican elite or Coulter or whomever!

Go ANYONE BUT ROMNEY …STILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Didn’t Ron Paul win a CPAC Straw poll fore too?

Go Rick or Newt or, even better. . .Sarah!

Pragmatic on February 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM

No Way!!

LMAO.

In other news….Ann Coulter was seen furiously stuffing a ballot box.

Tim_CA on February 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM

A little too quiet …

MaxMBJ on February 11, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Paul must be leading.

dom89031 on February 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM

She would have made an awesome president.
Very sad.

justltl on February 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Not surprised at all, severely or otherwise. CPAC has always been friendlier to the economic / libertarian wing of the party than the country at large is.

Stoic Patriot on February 11, 2012 at 4:40 PM

The guy announcing the poll results said that the economic/social con breakdown was about the same between the CPAc attendees and their national survey group.

44% of the CPAC attendees are college students though.

rockmom on February 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Yeah, Washington insiders Santorum and Gingrich are clearly the TRUE CONSERVATIVES.

/sarc

therightwinger on February 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

I have to say my shock is severe. But, as much as I like what Rick Santorum is saying, he’s only a social conservative. He spends money like a drunken sailor. And, he’s too niche.
I don’t like Mitt, but since Newt is done, if we can keep his feet to the fire, we can win.

CherryBombsBigBrownBeaver on February 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Severely nonplussed.

DrStock on February 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Did these conference participants actually listen to all of the speeches… or were they falling for pretty packaging and a pretty face?

Newt had the best speech, and he has the best platform of conservative ideas. The future of these youthful participants is better met with Gingrich’s ideas.

onlineanalyst on February 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

What Ed?

Romney brought a lot of supporters with him to CPAC, which is exactly what this straw poll measures. In that sense, it’s a bit surprising to see Rick Santorum come as close as he did in second place. We saw a lot of Santorum posters and signs at CPAC this year, so perhaps the Santorum campaign managed to get that kind of organization in place. As low on resources they have been, though, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a bunch of tickets for Santorum supporters to attend a three-day conference. I’d chalk that up to more organic support than organization.

You know this it total bullcrap right? You praised Santorum’s wins in caucas primary states, where turnout was as low as 8% as meaning a sizable sea change and now your punking on CPAC’s poll?

Ed, I look to you for professionalism and not Santorum pander, oh well…I still like you.

I guess this is what happens when Hotair is purchased by the Evangelical Community right.

Allahpundit, Save us!

ConservativeLaw on February 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM

It is on now..Use Right Scoop or C Span..:):)

Dire Straits on February 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Mitt Romney won the last time that Ron Paul didn’t win, and he managed to do it again

So we all loved Ron Paul before, and now we all love Romney?

sharrukin on February 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

He is the only one to fix problems. You may not like him, but no else can do what he can. it is better to steer him in the right direction than to put up some idiot who will destroy the party.

tomas on February 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Go Sarah go!

Go Rick!

Go Anyone But Romney!

Pragmatic on February 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

what time does she come on?

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM

She’s on now.

BuckeyeSam on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

“38% of CPAC are RINO’s” – Palin, Newt, Santy

xxessw on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

44% of the CPAC attendees are college students though.

rockmom on February 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM

*groan*

sicoit on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Severely disappointed

Neomom on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Sarah going right for the target: Barack.

SouthernGent on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Gee, all they had to do was change the rules to keep Ron Paul from winning. My daughter used to change the rules of games I played with her when she was five. WHEN SHE WAS FIVE.

libertarianlunatic on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

The Establisment is picking our candidates again!!

thebrokenrattle on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

i see her on cspan

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

You know! I think Romney is frugal! There are less gushers here on the weekends! They must get paid 9-5 during the week. No overtime!

KOOLAID2 on February 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Sarah going right for the target: Barack.

SouthernGent on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

as it should be :)

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

The Establisment is picking our candidates again!!

thebrokenrattle on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Yes, the camel toe is nosing under the tent.

CherryBombsBigBrownBeaver on February 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Palin speech just now:

“This government isn’t too big to fail, it’s too big to succeed.”

Awesome!

J.E. Dyer on February 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Fox isn’t even covering Sarah’s speech? lol

therightwinger on February 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

The severely joke is getting old. It’s a correct use of the word. Even an Obamateurism has a quicker expiration date…

Buy Danish on February 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

thanks DS and Buckeye :)

you gotta hope things change

heh

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

now your punking on CPAC’s poll?

ConservativeLaw on February 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

How many times did Ron Paul win the CPAC poll, and how many states has he ever won in a primary?

sharrukin on February 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

What’s going on in Maine right now?

Ron Paul is winning big.

http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-denver/ron-paul-takes-commanding-early-lead-maine-caucus

libertarianlunatic on February 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

If you’re not watching the Palin speech, turn the TV on. Right now.

J.E. Dyer on February 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

usa
usa
usa
usa

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

J.E. Dyer on February 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

I agree..That was a good line..:)

Dire Straits on February 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Somebody just tried to interrupt her. The crowd is shouting them down.

kingsjester on February 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

she looks great in red :)

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Of course, Ed will make excuses for Santorum. He is the new messiah that is being worshipped on Hotair. Romney brought supporters to CPAC, so that is the only reason he won. What a bunch of crap.

I wonder why he has never been vetted on his pro-union record, and I doubt the writers here at Hotair will ever try. He is their messiah, after all. He is the one, and even if he loses…it is because Romney brought supporters to CPAC. I wonder why all those people who were cheering for him on Friday did not vote for him.

Chudi on February 11, 2012 at 4:50 PM

dang protesters…get’em outta there

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:50 PM

And I can live with that. Actually, Mitt’s a much easier candidate for me to support than McCain was.

MaxMBJ on February 11, 2012 at 4:41 PM

How come? As bas as he was McCain was a lot more conservative than Romney. I guess conservative is out in the GOP?

neuquenguy on February 11, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Sarah going right for the target: Barack.

SouthernGent on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM\

Good. The fire does not belong on Mitt, Rick or Newt, or her for that matter. It belongs on the SCOAMF.

thebrokenrattle on February 11, 2012 at 4:50 PM

The straw that broke the camel’s back…

right2bright on February 11, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Don’t count the Spyhilitic Camel out yet.

Flange on February 11, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Chudi on February 11, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Quit being a Drama Queen.

kingsjester on February 11, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Just goes to show you that the Romney haters – especially those who would rather keep Obama – really are the lunatic fringe of the party.

WisCon on February 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Romney/Santorum 2012. A winner.

Sheerq on February 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Romney wins CPAC straw poll

RINO’s!!!!!!11!!eleventy!1!!!

Having gotten that out of my system, straw pools are in the same category as a caucus, not that useful. Time will tell who’s left standing in the end.

jnelchef on February 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Yup, a heckler or two just got USA’d outta there ! :-)

pambi on February 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

i see newt gettin’ out after super tuesday if he has no ching

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

The guy announcing the poll results said that the economic/social con breakdown was about the same between the CPAc attendees and their national survey group.

44% of the CPAC attendees are college students though.

rockmom on February 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Actually, the chart put the economic group representing a significant chunk at CPAC over what their actual representation is if you believe the Washington Times poll.

Stoic Patriot on February 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Still struggling to figure out why this hare-brain used that word. Is he that desperate or just that poorly spoken?

Jaibones on February 11, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Really? How many people are focused on what Romney said because he used the word? When he calls himself severely conservative the argument accepts that he IS conservative, he just isn’t severely conservative.

See how that works? Obama is doing the same thing. He manipulates data, or the presentation in order to achieve an agenda. The “hostage crisis” isn’t a real hostage crisis. It is a vehicle by which Obama will become the hero when he secures their release.

By election day, the Obamacare issue will be decided by the SCOTUS and basically off the table. Smart politicians position themselves for the issues that will be important in the fall. That means foreign policy and the economy. Obama can manipulate the data on the economy and he is in charge of foreign policy. That is why Romney focuses on those issues.

csdeven on February 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Hahaha oh this is sweet, sweater vest loses when polled amongst a bunch of real conservatives. I suspect the hardlining women haters and gay bashers will eat even more crow when Romney is announced as the winner of the Maine caucus later

1984 in real life on February 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

we want your administration to END

yes ma’am!

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

We don’t want an economy built to last, we want an economy built to GROW.

Palin. Rocks.

J.E. Dyer on February 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Run, Sarah, run! Dangit!!

SouthernGent on February 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

I was wondering where all the HotAir Mittbotts had disappeared off to. Stuffing the ballot boxes for Mr. Severely Conservative will get them exactly what it gets Ron Paul every year. A giant pile of “Yeahh, I don’t think so.”

shannon76 on February 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

lots of youngins’ in the audience i see

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:53 PM

I’m looking forward to Ace telling us what Sarah really said.

SouthernGent on February 11, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Santorum/Noem 2012. A winner.

Sheerq on February 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

FIFY

Roy Rogers on February 11, 2012 at 4:53 PM

And Ron Paul has won a number of them too.

Big deal.

Logus on February 11, 2012 at 4:53 PM

lots of youngins’ in the audience i see

cmsinaz on February 11, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Yes..:)

Dire Straits on February 11, 2012 at 4:53 PM

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