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
I'm a life long conservative, but if McCain get the nomination, I'm not voting because of crap like this. McCain's dirty politics are unconscionable and shouldn't be supported by ANY republican.
Just as the article says, 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.” THE BIG "IF" HERE IS IS WHETHER OR NOT THE MEDIA AND MODERATORS WILL HELP YOU TO GET TO KNOW THE REAL HUCKABEE because what Pinkerton says, here, is true. VOTE HUCKABEE!
Yet another Democrat for "conservative" McCain to make a deal with:
advisor Mike MacKinnon, formerly employed by Texas Democrat Ann Richards!
McCain: a Republican in name only.
It is McCain's fault that Huckleberry beat the moron Romney? Too many fruit loops in the cereal this morning?
I heard Huckabee was offering free special kool-aid at his victory celebration.
This is so great. Romney the liberal in sheep's clothing and the fringe lunatics that make up the right wing media must be FLIPPING OUT right about.
I LOVE IT.
I think the winner take all primary system is WRONG. Primaries should be proportional. This back room deal was unethical. I'm an Obama supporter, but I think the system has been unfair on the Republican side this year.
Great Job Huckabee. Im a democrat from Arkansas, but I really want you to get the nomination then regardless of anything, we will have an Arkansan in the white house.
HILLARY! THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Congratulations on the win, keep doing what works, the base guitar !!!!!
Huckabee is a joke, who stand a 0% chance of winning the nomination. He has no business to still be involved in this race; either he is completely delusional, or he has struck a deal with a very devious John McCain.
Choose the Real Conservative! Go Mitt!!
I like huckabee on republican side but, Im voting for Obama 08.
Huckabee is giving all of you evangelicals a bad name. What a religious bigot!
Hey Walt, Belton TX what are you stupid or were you dropped at birth! you dingleberry moron! It wouldn't be bad if Mickupbee beat Romney, but when you have two hacks like McCan't and Hillbilly Gomer Pyle lookalike cheating and making back room deals, then that is where you have the crimminal minds of two moronic idiots, corrections, three moronic idiots, you are right with them you moron!
cnn COVERING A MEANINGLESS FORREST GUMP STATE AND MAKE A BIG DEAL OF IT!! SURPRISE! SURPRISE! THE ELECTIONS AREN'T OVER AND CNN PULLING THE CRAP OF WHO THEY THINK WILL WIN THE ELECTIONS TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE IT WOULDN'T MATTER IF YOU VOTED OR NOT, WHY DON'T YOU IDIOT MEDIA HACKS JUST WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW TO SEE WHO WON, OH YES, YOU WANT TO BE THE FIRST BLOWHARDS TO SAY YOUR CANDIDATE WON.
TWO CRIMMINALS LIKE HICKUPBEE AND MCCAN'T AT IT'S BEST, IF EITHER ONE OF THESE TWO MORONS WIN THE ELECTIONS, I'M GOING TO VOTE FOR OBAMA!
McCain voters switching to Huckabee to twist the vote? Sounds dirty. Sounds republican
Live it up, Huckabum....from now on it'll be back in the single digits.
I just voted for Hillary as did all of my close friends. I hope Huckabee wins the repug primaries...all of them.
Congratulations for Mike Huckabee!
I'm am an Indepentet and I will not vote for any candidate of either party that will not enforce our border and ports security. Illegal aliens are costing taxpayers millions every day.Wake up people before its to late! The only person of either party that will do that is Romney and I have my reservations on some of his policies to. Hope we get a stong Independent canidate to run against what is the
worst of evils The .American people deserves better than that!
This won't get posted, but I have to try....
Cheaters. Look at what a RINO and a puppet just did to the best candidate the GOP has.
I wonder if the people who criticize Romney for being Mormon have even read the Mormon's book. I have and I see nothing wrong in it. Vote for or against the man, not his religion. Sheesh.
If Romney's religion has hurt him as a person, I'd hate to think about how successful he could have been without it.
If the worst people can do to criticize Mitt is go after his religion, that's good enough for me.
That settles it. I've made up my mind. I'm voting Romney.
Let's be clear about one thing. Huckabee didn't win WV. McAmnesty gave him a nice little present for all of his whining and attacking of Romney.
Unbelievable! Political corruption at its worst! War Hero? Baptist minister? Anyone who would vote for one of these two people should be ashamed of themselves for not doing their homework. This obvious backroom deal in an election by the people just makes me sick to my stomach.
Go Mitt Romney!
Further proof of the power of the "Colbert Bump" !
WELL MAYBE IT WONT BE McCAIN THAT HILLARY BEATS IN NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!