NEW YORK (CNN) - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won the West Virginia State Party Convention, the first Republican presidential nominating contest of "Super Tuesday."
Huckabee was victorious on the second ballot.
Huckabee picked up 18 national convention delegates after trailing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on the first round of balloting. It appeared as though supporters of Arizona Sen. John McCain, who placed a distant third on the first ballot, moved over to Huckabee, helping him to carry the day.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul did not collect enough votes to advance past the first round. Paul, Huckabee, and Romney addressed the convention earlier in the day.
UPDATE: Huckabee spokesman Jim Pinkerton has released the following statement:
“Mike Huckabee is the best communicator in the party—in the country. If people get to know him, they will vote for him. Just as they did in West Virginia. Which, of course, has a great tradition of being a key primary state.”
UPDATE II: Romney Campaign Chairwoman Beth Myers issued the following statement:
"Unfortunately, this is what Sen. McCain's inside Washington ways look like: he cut a backroom deal with the tax-and-spend candidate he thought could best stop Governor Romney's campaign of conservative change.
"Governor Romney had enough respect for the Republican voters of West Virginia to make an appeal to them about the future of the party based on issues. This is why he led on today's first ballot. Sadly, Senator McCain cut a Washington backroom deal in a way that once again underscores his legacy of working against Republicans who are interested in championing conservative policies and rebuilding the party
If Obama does not win it all, the world as we know it will come to an end.
All of you whining about "dirty politics" didn't mind when the candidates delegates pooled together to form a "family values" plank to take first place away from Ron Paul in Louisiana. By the way Huckabee gave 3 delegates to Ron Paul in West Virginia for his delegate support ! So Huckabee gets 15 not 18.
Yes, Huckster, a very 'signficant' win. You really lost and only 'won' because of the McCain conspiracy. Congratulations.
Mitt Romney is effectively destroying the Republican party. He is using millions to run as the only true conservative choice when in fact he is the most liberal of the candidates.
In doing this, he has completely smeared the obvious choice for president, the true pro-life, pro-family, pro-military, small government Republican Mike Huckabee.
Thus, we are going to get Mr. Want to Please the Liberals John McCain. Way to go Romney. You destroyed our party! Congratulations. Since you are a liberal guy, this was probably your aim all along.
Hey, remember that not too long ago we wanted our troops home? Now that the economy is in the dumps we are more concerned about our money. I guess I can't say I'm surprised. Maybe if we brought our troops home we could save enough money to boost the economy. If only there were a candidate that said they would immediately bring the troops home and bring financial stability. ; )
You and McCain have made a deal. The fix is in. Talk about old time dirty politics.
No integrity at all.
I will vote Romney.
Shame on McCain and Huckabee. If they can't win this fair and square, they don't deserve to win anything. Go Mitt, and thanks for not cheating.
GO HUCKABEE GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HUCKABEE IS READY FOR Obama/Clinton !!!!
I think political attacks are good (as long as they do not go as far as the Dems in SC); it raises concerns and questions that need to be addressed. Personal attacks are inappropriate and show lack leadership character (as pointed out in regards to Huckabee not being fit for the Oval Office). McCain has not done either of these. I do think what happened in WV was politically unethical. Is this going to become a political strategy we want to be employed in the future: political decoy? This would come back to greatly hurt American politics and Democracy worldwide. If McCain is endorsing Huckabee, so be it and then he should drop out of the race. If he did not “orchestrate” it, then he has little control and shows poor leadership. Whoever wins in the end, whether it be Clinton, McCain, Obama, Romeny, or Huckabee, let’s at least preserve our dignity and individual significance as voters without behind the scene political favors and deals.
Yes, multi rounds eliminates candidates to focus supporters. But McCain was not "knocked" out or was his 15%. Thus logically if votes were appropriately casting then he would have >15% in the next round pulling a percent or two from Paul. This could have pushed for a third round between Huckabee and Romney. If then Huckabee won, good for him. But in the case of what happened there was political fraud. Huckabee – political decoy.
McCain had >15% of the supporters, but just didn't want Romney to get the delegates. So his 14% voted for Huckabee (plus 3% form Paul). That equals 51%. Simple enough. Math 101. Romney got 7% of Pauls 10%. So, you figure?
Why is McCain so affraid? He most likely will win anyways. Nixon was afraid.
THE ONLY 2 TRUE CONSERVATIVES DIDNT GET A CHANCE,, THOMPSON AND HUNTER, PUSHED OUT BY EARLY PRIMARIES. WHY CANT WE HAVE ALL STATES VOTE AT ONE TIME,THEN THE TRUE WINNER WOULD EMERGE
So Mike Huckabee has yet to win an actual presidential primary ELECTION. He won Iowa's caucuses and won West Virginia's convention by the good graces of Senator McCain.
This doesn't bode well for the GOP as the American people will ELECT our next president.
Surely the GOP can find someone better than Mike Huckabee to be the Republican standard bearer.
A vote for Hillary is a vote for Bill. He had his chance and was almost impeached why would any one want him a third time. Hillary's experience is Bill's failures also. It is easy to recognize that . We want a Radical Change in Govermment. Barack represent that change. Marion
P A T H E T I C!
Goes to show how twisted the systym really is. Do want either of these two, McCain and/or Huckabee to be our next president???? Their totally kniving!
Educate yourself, Linda. It is a 4-way Republican race... Go Ron Paul!