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
McCain and Romney should drop out, stop stealing Huckabee's votes, and stop avoiding the inevitable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Is Huckabee running for president, or as McCain's vice president? He's sure helping McCain! He's such a distraction. Americans need to focus on the real choice: Romney or McCain.
This is going to happen in alot more states to come. McCain will be unable to hold half the states so his votes will go to Huckabee. Huckabee can just sit back and watch this fight go to the bitter end. A seat at the cabinet is a victory for Huckabee next year.
I am hoping for a McCain/Huckabee ticket. I don't want our illegal schoolchildren learing about evolution.
What a self-destructive move by the left side of the Republican party....
May as well hand the crown the the Democrats and sit out another 4 years.
I am not surprised on how Gov. Huckabee won West Virginia. Sen. McCain supporters all switched to Huckabee after he was declared not viable. Oh by the way James Dobson said he would not support McCain. A message too Republicans the 2000 election came down to 247 votes. 2004 came down to 861. If McCain is the nominee I will vote democrat and become a Reagan Democrat. I know alot more conservatives who will do the same.
I was a voting delegate at today's WV Presidential Convention. Make no mistake, this was NOT a victory for Mike Huckabee, this was Washington style politics as usual aimed at preventing a Romney boost. The people of West Virginia spoke and the political machinery of the WV Republican Party did NOT listen. There WILL be repercussions for the current party leaders in this state.
What makes you think mccain's votes would have gone to Romney? He didn't get 50% of the vote on his own, did he? The fact is, anybody needed help from other supporters to get the win here, and the fact that Romeny has alienated not only McCain but also huckabee, and probably Ron Paul voters, (the whole reading Achmedinajad's press releases comment in the debate) why would you expect he would get any of those voters? There is something to running a clean, now isn't there Mittheads?
Romney is so FAKE, he makes me sick. Goes to show money cant buy elections.
Go McCain and Huckabee!!!
john February 5, 2008 4:22 pm ET
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.
Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat and a union president. Then he became a conservative Republican. Finally, he died of Alzheimer's disease.
Let that be a warning to all you conservative Republicans....
The mainstream media and the pundents thought it was inevitable that Juan McClame would win. But the actual voters showed that Huckabee is the true winner and the true conservative. McCain needs to drop out since he's stealing votes from Huck.
I wish the media would drop the Minster part from Gov.Huckabee intros. what he has been doing lately certainly is not a represent the Christian values a Minister should have. And to make remarks as "we tell them what to do with their polls," that's not something a Christian , much less a minister should or would say. Someone ask him what promises he has from McCain? Hope it was worth it. What does a man profit to gain the whole world but lose his soul. He should know the answer to that one. Very disappointed in him.
Head line should read 'McCain and Huckabee game the system'.
Another thing, what planet are you people living on that you don't know that this is how politics work? Its a blood sport, and this happens every day in every political system there is. What part of it is dirty? Fred "sleepy" Thompson did a Tonya Harding on Huckabee in South Carolina with the blessings of Mccain and that was ok with everyone then. Get over it, politics is life, and we all do it, and all nations do it amongst themselves even. If can't play that game, you will make a lousy president.
I was giving McCain the benefit of the doubt until I saw the results of the West VA convention. Although I very much prefer Romney over the others, I didn't agree with Ann Coulter's recommendation to support the democrat over a McCain nomination.
However, over the past few days, McCain has really shown himself for what he is ... a politician with no better values than the democrats. Today's twisting of Romney's reference to the Bob Dole's campaign was laughable. His lie about Romney's support of a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq was completely outrageous. And now, today's stunt with the West VA convention, the delegates switching to Huckabee to block the rightful winner ... despicable.
I expected that Romney would have to deal with these kinds of things in the general election when running against Hillary Clinton. I didn't expect it from someone who calls himself a Republican.
Come on, John. You're better than that! At least I thought you were. And so, if you win the nomination, I'll be voting for a democrat for the first time in my life.
Huckabee is supposed to be a man of GOD. Instead he is behaving as a spoiler. At this point he has no chance to win. He is obviously helping McCain. That will back fire.
Edward made a good decision a couple days ago. He knew that he couldn't win anymore. He existed graciously to let the real contest happen between OBAMA and the two Clinton's.
You are all very sad. Why can't he just win. Talk about whining. How terrible to talk about the people of West Virginia like that. And I am still trying to figure out how it could possibly have been planned betweeen Huckabee and McCain. They knew that it would go to 2 rounds and all? Could someone please explain how this could have possibly been plotted?
All have one thing in common above all else:
**Losers of the White House in 2008**
Romney supporters: Waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!
I guess it sucks when your man can't buy everyone's vote ^_^
I am a Southern Baptist and quite truthfully Mike Huckabee scares me. The thought of changing our Constitution to go along with the Bible is not what our founding fathers had in mind. We are a nation of many beliefs and up until now we have got along pretty well. Change the Constitution and all that will be lost.
I try to keep my mouth shut in church, but then my church is not all that political. Our pastor says his vote is private and so are ours.
Gee, lots of people LIKE the idea of a second vote. Now it's "dirty politics" ?
In any case, for me it's GO DEMOCRATS in 2008!
If Huckabee isn't on the balot in November I will not vote for any of these other candidates. That will be a first for me!
I hope and pray this you people nominate this man.... i am keeping my fingers and my toes crossed so i can see him get pummled by ANY democratice candidate in the general. Please Please pretty please with a a cherry on top nominate this man that would loose to Bush in a battle of wits
AND! the media really needs to give Mike Huckabee equal time as well as the rest of the these candidates! But it's about money I think. The candidates with the most money get the most coverage.?? Thats what politics is about anymore. Lets be fair. The last debate was a disgrace. Give them all equal time.
I am a Democrat; If Obama wins the Nomination I am voting Republican this Nov. No Hussein for me in the White House. If Clinton wins, i will vote for her. Go Hillary!