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
Romney was in the lead on the first ballot. When everyone found out, they switched the vote to Huckabee.
Don't be surprised if Huck is the VP nominee if McCain wins. Old Chuck Norris is now trying to say Romeny is buying the race, instead of McCain too old.
So, if Romeny was actually first on the first vote, what other southern states is he making inroads in today. This WV was supposed to be a state for McCain, with Huckabee taking most of the southern states. His 18 votes give him about 40, to Romney's 92, Still over two to one.
The MCain strategy may backfire, with Huckabee and Romney taking most of the delegates today except for New York, and most of the east coast where Romney is expected to take his home state.
Look for a brokered convention, and with Romeny in second, and no majority, Huck might not get that VP slot.
There's a deal or something going on there. We'll see what it is eventually.
However, on the first round, Romney also a SURPRISE. Romney wasn't even supposed to be close, and the last poll had a runaway for McCain, who got 16% on the first ballot..another SURPRISE! If it all done in secret ballot, and only the person with the fewest votes removed, and another secret ballot taken, what would have been the outcome.
This story has already been explained by Bill Schneider on how Romney won the first round, and what the candidates did after that on CNN.
Huckabee and McCain are in bed together. Neither are presidential. Mitt Romney should rise up and get the nomination since he is best for the party and country!
Why is this guy still in the race??? A man who thinks the Constiution should align with the Bible. As if America needs another Evangelical Christian.
This along with two new afternoon polls just out in 'Bama and Georgia suggest a much better than expected night for Huckabee.
congrates good luck from iowa .
never give up
Congratulations Huckabee!!!! Wonderful job Huck, you deserve it. You are a true American, a true Republican Conservative, and a True Leader. You know what people, I’m getting so sick of hearing others like Sidney who go around saying that people aren’t voting for Romney only because he’s Mormon and shame on them for it. To tell you the truth, I know hundreds in my town that are voting for Romney only because he is Mormon. They know nothing about what he stands for. They just want someone of their own religion in office. To be honest, I can see why people would be afraid to have Romney as President. I hope you know that our religion is on the list of known cults. I would be a little concerned myself if I didn’t know what exactly our religion stood for. Oh by the way, I’m Mormon and I’m NOT voting for Romney. Go Huckabee!!!!!
there is a reason why everybody is against him...
...he's is nasty.
....and Huckabee's the Hitman,
He's keeping Romney from winning anywhere.
Thats what you get Mitt for being so nasty.
Ron Paul got 3 of Mike Huckabee's national delegates. He got 10.4% of the vote in the first round. Not too shabby for a "fringe" candidate. Go Ron Paul!
It's a convention, the second vote people have to drop the lower people, and pick one of the leading ones.
McCain's people went to Huckabee's because of dirty poltics, your'e right... but because of Mitt's mud slinging, flip-flopping, and pandering politics. Mitt's been a complete slime ball, and everyone who's not supporting him, hates him. Hey, when you have to bully people with Negetive campaigning and ego, it's going to get you in the end.
Nice win Huck!
The people who voted for McCain who switched their vote to Huck, their vote was still for McCain. To vote from Huck is a vote for McCain.
Fired Up! Ready to Go!...Obama in '08!
Congratulations Mike! Thanks for standing up to the political machine!
Congrats to John McCain! A vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain! This is pathetic...
So Mike Huckabee needs McCain's coattails to ride on! I figured as much
from this fading preacher man. I wonder whose bed he'll be putting his
shoes under next? Clinton? Obama? How pathetic.
Hey, didn't you get the memo from Romney? "stop whining!"
People obviously are misinformed, particularly in WV.
I love me a good theocracy.
It is completely unbelievable that people would say Huckabee is taking votes from another candidate, that he is undemocratic and should drop out of the race. I'm sorry but last time I checked the Constitution it says any American born citizen of the right age can run for President. That includes Huckabee.
If Romney were indeed the best candidate then the majority of voters would have chose him. The voters did not. That's democracy.
Huckabee won by someone else's support. He didn't win because there was that many people that supported him. There was more people that supported the idea to not let Romney win then there was people to support Huckabee. That is so pathetic. Romney should have won that race. This is just further evidence that "A vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain". Also that Huckabee is McCain's little string puppet to win the nomination. McCain wouldn't touch Huckabee with a ten foot pole for his VP. Huckabee is dreaming. McCain isn't going to be electable in November because a lot of his base is going to stay home rather than vote for him. C'mon voters, get out there and vote or caucus for Mitt Romney! He is our country's last hope for survival in the world.
PROOF MCLAIM CAN NOT BEAT ROMNEY WITHOUT HELP FROM HUCKLEBERRY
EVERY VOTE FOR HUCKLEBERRY IS A VOTE FOR JOHN MCLAIM
WAKE UP CONSERVATIVES, JOHN MCLAIM IS A LIBERAL
THE FIRST VOTE MITT HAD 41% OF THE VOTE A LARGE MAJORITY
I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR JOHN MCLAIM
VOTE FOR MITT THE ONLY CHOICE
That's the dirtiest thing I ever saw…Romney beat them all in the first ballot then the McCain Huckabee campaigned teamed up and pulled off their dirty trick<<<
That's not dirty it's smart. McCain never had a chance to win that state but he had the power to deny it to Mitt. Wasn't it your boy Mitt who just the other day said "Stop whining. It's politics and that's the way the game is played?" Trust me if the roles were reversed Mitt would have shafted McCain just as McCain shafted Mitt. Now take your candidates' own advice and quit whining.
I imagined it happened something like this:
Moderator: That concludes the voting–
*door explodes off the hinges*
Chuck Norris: Sorry I'm late.
Moderator [gulps] ...the, uh, first round of voting, that is...
The reason why many Christian will stay home, and not vote in November:
There may not be a candidate, who is against the killing of millions of innocent people for convenience.
A person comes into the world at conception (This is a fact, not a opinion). We won’t vote, because we don’t want to stand guilty before God, for giving a nod of approval to, voting for, anyone who approves the killing of millions of innocent people for convenience (abortion).