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
A vote for Goober, er.. I mean Huckabee, is a vote for McCrypt.
I can't wait for McCain to go the primaries! He will be chopped liver after the Dems get ahold of him. He thinks Romney put out attack ads, wait till they show people through commercials all of his weaknesses. Hillary said today she will tell the people that he knows nothing about the economy and wants a 100 year war.
Oh, I can't wait for it to get down and dirty!
I voted Romney today and I WILL NEVER vote McAmesty...
aww! listen at the Mitten Kittens wine!
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!
JohnMcCain and Huckabee ganged up on Romney in West Virginia .Huckabee is now eligible to join the gang of 14 with McCain
Yeah..President of West Virginia
Why do people like Mitt Romney? I'm still very confused. Oh it's his hair cut. nice. Americans aren't stupid after all!
WAKE UP PEOPLE! Come on! This isn't funny anymore.
Like I mean, don't get me wrong, it was funny for like a couple months. but seriously. now it's time to stop the joking around.
Prince Mitt has spent forty million dollars of his own money on his campaign already – and he can't even beat a guy who truly belives that the earth is 6,000 years old, and Adam and Eve were the first human beings!
The whole Republican Party has become a joke.
Huckabee will NOT win the republican nomination, but contrats to him, but this is as far as he will go!
I hope this the last state this guy wins. How can you be a presidential candidate and not believe in evolution. He probably believe anitibiotics are magic pills.
What a joke! The people in the McCain group saw that no one in a majority was buying his nonsense, so they get behind an unqualified candidate just to spite Romney???? Way to think with your heads, folks. I'm just going to consider Romney the winner since he only lost the delegates because of ridiculous garbage politics. Vote for our only competent candidate, Super Tuesday people!
Huckabee only won because McCain's folks CUT A DEAL with Huckabee's folks to deny Romney the victory.
In the first round of caucuses, ROMNEY WON! Huckabee came in second, and McCain came in a distant third. McCain's folks cut a deal with Huckabee–and McCain's folks then voted for Huckabee-ONLY to DENY Romney the victory.
This is ridiculous. This can't happen in a state where we actually vote.
LOL....I choked on my beans when I saw the CNN headline "Huckabee wins WV" right now. Like that's a huge surprise, or makes any difference whatsoever....yee haw..bang bang.
Sorry folks, if ya want a Theocratic government (that means government run by religious doctrine by the way), you'll have to go to the middle east. Americans have had enough of that nonsense.
Congratulations ...Huckabee, you deserve it. You are a true American, a true Republican Conservative, and a True Leader and I am proud of you. Don't quit, stay in this race til the end. You have that right...Keep going...........
All this hard pushy stuff coming from Fox news and the radio talk shows is pitiful. I will no longer watch Fox News because of there stand and the way they have done all the candidates except there pretty boy floyd ,Romney the Barbie Doll. And the Romney supporters want to make a fuss out of anything and put people down,you are just a bunch of whiney, sore losers. We already told you you can't buy this election and you can't force feed people either. We are sick of listening to you all and Hannity is a whimp. So sit back tonight and watch Romney figure out the known facts tonight, that he needs to quit. He's lnot going to get it.....
I voted for Huckabee and my second choice would not have been Romney...
Prince Mitt has spent forty million dollars of his own money on his campaign already – and in West Virginia, he can't even beat a guy who truly believes that the Earth is just 6,000 years old, and Adam and Eve were the first human beings!
Im a democrate supporting Hillary Clinton but if i had to cheer for a republican it would be Huckabee!!!!!
H I L L A R Y 08
Puppet Huckabee and all the GOP cronies in the world won't stop true conservatives in November from making Jon McCain the biggest election-day loser since the demise of Nixon should McCain succeed in his wrangle for the nomination.
This is no surprise win, this is only part of the destruction of the republican party. Good work West Virginia, we democrats love this.
I support Hilliary Clinton..having said that I do not agree with having a caucus. We should have just primaries. Romney won this state and because of the caucus rules they were all able to vote again just not for their guy, so the Bee won. If a republican were to win the white house I would hope for Romney as I could support him but no way would I support McCain or the Bee. The country will be stung with either of those two.
I wrote Mitt sometime back asking for a job, true story.Anyways what I asked for was very simple,"Can I get paid to laugh at you for burning all the Republican money for losing a presidential race?"
He did say he would be a great economic president. mitt is a loser.
I said just about the same thing as Rush ....
Romney is not conservative....he's a pretender!
But I like Huckabee too! Good job Huckabee and McCain :)
I'm for Huckabee and McCain if Obama sneaks in .
Did those who switched votes flip flop or cut and run?
In any case, a minority of the state's minority party made a poor choice.
I don't understand how people can pull so hard for Mitt Romney when he makes comments like the following, Romney told FOX that Dole was "probably the last person I would have wanted to have write a letter for me."
These are *prepared* comments, people. Imagine how abrasive he is going to be working "off the cuff" on the international scene, particularly in 3rd world countries. We need a president who thinks before he speaks and can show some maturity and tack – that person is *not* Mitt Romney.
Thisis typical of the underhanded politics practiced by McCain and his supporters. This stop Romney at any cost will cost the GOP a win in November.
What good is it to win the battle and lose the war. Neither McCain nor Huckabee can beat the Democrats in November. Huckabee's base is too narrow and McCain's is too old and tied to the Bush Administration. The Democrats are cheering because they will have a field day running against Bush. not McCain.