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
Congratulations Mr Huckabee! It is a 3 way republican race ! Go vote America, you are important.
CNN...WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR YOU TO POST MY COMMENT!!!!?
I wouldn't care who was running in the Republican party, they wouldn't get my vote!!! Look at how the current Republican President has the US in a recession!!!! But if you ask any of them how has BUSH left the country in the last eight years, they will say anything but the truth which is A HOT MESS!!!
Go Obama, if not him, Go Hillary, if not one of them GOD HELP US ALL!!!!
It's fairly obvious these past couple of weeks that Romney really knows he can't compete with Huckabee when Huckabee is allowed to speak. That's why Romney's Robocalls tried to convince voters that it was a 2-man race. It worked for some–I've had to inform some people that Huckabee was still in the race.
The media + Romney don't want a real conservative like Huckabee around. Give Huckabee the same airtime as Romney and he'll beat Mitt every time. Use your moneybags to bury him, and apparently he'll still beat the liberal spender.
Romney's (and the Democrats) spending on this election gives me no confidence they understand what frugal means. I don't want them running this country as they've proven they'll run their campaigns–money, money, money.
Wow, not hard to lose faith in a Party when you see these kind of dirty tricks being played. What is the deal with only 1k people coming out for this?
And why do they have 2 ballots?
**** THE FIX IS IN***
JOHN McCAIN AND MIKE HUCKABEE CONSPIRED TO FIX THE WEST VIRGINIA PRIMARY AND STOLE IT FROM ROMNEYS CLEAR MAJORITY.
CHEAT AND DECEIT, McCAIN AND HUCKABEE
OUR NEW REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP. HOW PROUD WE SHOULD BE !
About Pinkerton's comment – No, American's won't vote for Huckabee. We have seen all we need to and we don't like him. By the way, your little thing about saying WV voted for Huckabee! no they didnt, they voted against Romney because of McCain's lame tactic
Stupid is as stupid does…great work West Virginia…
Bob Dole to Russ Limbaugh
nothing against Bob Dole's war record, but Russ Limbaugh??? Seriously???
What has become of the Republican party that Russ Limbaugh plays a heavy part??
Oh my goodness, how sad-
This is my Second e-mail with the same message. The first one is not showing.
Enough of the Clintons. Bill Clinton only wants his wife to win so HE can get the power back, not because he wants her to win. What a selfish, self-centered, spoiled little boy he is.
American politics is in play!
Go Huckabee!! He is the only one who has a chance against Obama or McCain in the general election. The Democrats have to much momentum from "the people," we need a people president who has the experience, communication skills and ideas to lead us. I hope his victory will gain momentum in other states!!! I wish the best for Huckabee and for all Americans for that matter!!
Its a sad day. That Huckabee has to back door deal a blow to Mitt Romney. Look at the numbers, more people wanted Romney and the only way Huckabee could do it is to back door deal it. Romney has placed consistantly #1 or #2 in every primary except 1 of all the primaries so far. More consistant than any of the candidates out there. Romney is the clear only one that can honestly have a chance to win against Mcain. All Huckabee is doing is handing the presidency over to Mcain. Huckabee is spliting the vote. If he was a person of common sense and if he really is a honest man he be honest with himself 1st and conservative republicans he should or would graceously bow out like a gentleman and let the only one who can stand a chance against the liberal republican (Mcain). It doenst take a rocket scientist to know he is only hurting the conservative cause. Admitt it Mike, you dont have what it takes by yourself to take on Mcain even if you want to. Romney would have a hard time but at least he has a strong showing on his own and with your group behind him he couldnt fail. Together you and Romney stand, Divided both you will fall.
This country needs Mitt, shame on them. McCain is a Bushee and Huckabee is something this country does not need. Someone should tell him about the separation of church and the state. Bet Huckabee would want to change that if he became president. The perfect campaign MItt versus Hilary. Let the best person win.
Huckabee winning anything is very scary! I guess going to clown college pays.
Romney should drop out. He is taking Huckabees votes. Shame on Romney!
In the words of T.D Jakes "GET READY GET READY GET READY!!!"
You want a change....
Looks like Romney needed Ron Paul's votes in the 2nd round and didn't get them. There's a real story for CNN; finding out where the Ron Paul votes went in WV. If Romney wins Cal. Paul just may end up holding the delegate balance of power. Fascinating.
The McCain votes went to Huckabee–the scenario here perhaps is that between McCain and Romney, voters prefer Romney. But between Romney and Huckabee, voters prefer Huckabee.
So the voters did the right thing to switch their votes to Huckabee. It proves that they don't like Romney and McCain.
Humm... it appears that there is still people interested in Social conservationism.
Huckabee is prolife, has pledged not to grant amnesty, raise taxes and has repealed whatever other untruthful talking point that romney's camp and cons. talk show host has used. What else do you want?
The only thing I think he is vulnerable is that he wants to let children on illegals aliens study. But if you think about it, is not such a bad thing to do.
Congrats to Huckabee.
Romney supporters are so hypocritical ... let's get this strait ... here's what Romney supporters were saying:
"Huckabee has no chance to win and is only going to split the conservative vote. Therefore, if you're conservative, you should vote for your second choice ... (being Mitt, of course)."
Now, when the McCain voters came in a "distant third", seeing that their candidate had no chance to win, they conceded and voted for their second choice.
They simply did what Romney supporters have been asking Huckabee supporters to do ... vote for someone who has a chance.
A note to the conservative talk shows: Stop telling me who to vote for and not vote for. I'll vote for the candidate that I believe in.
Excellent strategy on the part of McCain supporters. While it may seem kind of tricky, I always love to see conventions or caucuses that play out like chess games.
Thanks GOD! Authenticity over came the Great FAKE Romney!
THANK W. VIRGINIA for starting a DOMININO EFFECT FOR OUR HUCK-A-BOO! I AM SO HAPPY I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO...
ROMNEY MAY NOW WANT TO TAKE HIS OWN ADVICE AFTER HE GETS DEFEATED IN THE SOUTH BY HUCKABEE AND IN THE NORTH BY MCCAIN. A GOOD CEO KNOWS WHEN TO FOLD AND THAT WOULD BE A SURE SIGN THAT HE CAN NOT WIN, THEN YOU AN GET DOWN TO THE REAL DEAL....I TRULY HAVE CAUGHT THE HUCK-A-BUGGG!!!! AND NO RUSH FLIM-BAUGH LAURA, SEAN HANITY OR ANYONE ELSE WILL BE ABLE TO SHAPE MY VOTE. HUCKABEE WILL WIN AND WIN BIG. WHEN IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO TRUE CONSERVATISM, HUCK WILL DEFEAT MCCAIN AND IT LOOKS LIKE MCCAIN COULD BE LOOK AT A VP TICKET AND ROMNEY A POLITICAL COFFEN! OUT OF THEM ALL, ROMNEY HAS HANDLED HIS CAMPAIGN FINANCES THE WORST. SOME CEO!
GO HUCK GO! I'M VOTING FOR YOU ALL THE WAY. MY VOTE IS NOTE 4 SALE!
It's fitting that Rush Limpballs is a "heavy" in the republican party. I like to see ole' Rush "throw his weight around". It just shows how demented the republicans are that they can't eject this piece of waste from their proud over-fed...
Rush, Cheney, O'reilly, Bush, Hannity (the knuckle dragging mouth breathing moron), that insane blonde lady, Romney – they're all the same person to me.
Did you know that in Las Vegas you had to be at the Caucus in order to vote.
People during that half hour session were working. The mailman, UPS, and on and on. I don't know whose brainstorm that was but it was to save money... Tra la.
I'll fix them. The next election I want an ABSENTEE BALLOT.
Look into this and let it be known that there are plenty people who never had a chance to vote in Las Vegas because you HAD TO BE AT THE CAUCUS IN ORDER TO VOTE AND THE VOTING SESSION LASTED ONE HALF HOUR!!!!!!!
Check into this CNN and make it known.
I wasn't able to vote because I couldn't make it at their specified time, so now I feel like a foreigner. At 90, I had yet to miss a vote and now because of their stupid idea I missed my first time. Please make it known. It isn't fair.
I think the every day citizen of this great United States is waking up to the fact that Romney will stand for whatever is convienient, and that he is just as big a liberal as McCain.
Try looking in the mirror and ask yourself (do I really believe everything that Romney is telling me, or is he a good looking, smooth talking snake oil salesman?)