February 28th, 2009
04:56 PM ET
5 years ago

Romney wins conservative straw poll

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the straw poll for the third year in a row.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the straw poll for the third year in a row.

(CNN) - One day after delivering a forceful campaign-style speech to the conference of conservative activists, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won his third straight CPAC Straw Poll on Saturday, earning 20 percent of the vote on a ballot that included nine other Republicans who could seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2012.

Romney’s straw poll win at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference helped to elevate Romney from a little-known governor to a bona fide presidential frontrunner, and his narrow victory in last year’s straw poll reaffirmed his support among conservative voters. But Romney failed to win the Republican nomination, which was eventually won by Arizona Sen. John McCain.

In the 2009 poll, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal came in second with 14 percent of the vote, while Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Texas Rep. Ron Paul tied at 13 percent. Jindal and Palin did not attend the conference.

Rounding out the straw poll results were former House speaker Newt Gingrich at 10 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at seven percent, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford at four percent, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani at three percent, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at two percent, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist at one percent. Nine percent of poll participants were undecided.

The straw poll was conducted over two days and surveyed 1,757 of the party activists who descended on Washington for the annual conference. More than half of the conference attendees this year were college students, and nearly 60 percent of the straw poll participants were between the ages of 18 and 25.


Filed under: Mitt Romney • Republican Party
soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Steve (the real one)

    He should have been the republican nominee last year! That business background may have come in handy right about now! Now let the liberal hatred begin!!!! I can't wait! Maybe somebody will sy something original but I doubt it!

    February 28, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  2. KLS

    I thought Rush Limbaugh was now the leader of the conservative Republicans?

    February 28, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  3. ralph

    And him winning the poll means what? It doesn't have a clue STILL!!!

    February 28, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  4. Steve (the real one)

    George February 28th, 2009 8:58 pm ET
    Where were the republicans the last 8years when we were stimulating Iraq
    ---------
    Good question but who voted to fund the war? The Congress!
    Who ran the Congress for the last 2 years? The Dems! Ops!!
    In truth, there is enough blame to go around several times over. I as a conservative can admit this. Can the Dems admit it?

    February 28, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  5. Obamanation abomination

    If we had president Romney in office right now. The dow would be at 10,000. Baby Boomers would be looking at 401K's with money in them and choosing where they want their second home and how to spend the money in their wallet.
    Candidate Obama spoke of hope. President Obama speaks fear.
    Candidate Obama Spoke of Change and all I have now is change in my pocket.
    President Obama makes the excuse of what he inherited, Great leaders don't make excuses they make great decisions.
    How could we elect this guy to be our President? He has no experience doing anything! How can he say he give us a 4 trillion dollar annual budget and then claim he is going to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term?
    He wants to give tax credits to 95% of the people yet 5% of the population holds 95% of the wealth and he wants to tax them. Guess what they did not get wealthy by being stupid with their money. This is why back in October after it became apparent that Obama was going to be the next president the top 5% pulled their money out of the stock market so they would not be taxed to death to pay for Obamas mistakes.
    The first month has been horrible and we only go down hill from here.

    The one piece of humour I get out of this is that the Baby Boomers are the liberal Hippies that started this whole mess 50 years ago and I can see no better definition of Karma than that.

    February 28, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  6. John

    "...nearly 60 percent of the straw poll participants were between the ages of 18 and 25."

    Oh, to be young and naive. Back when I was in college I also believed it was "cool" to be conservative.

    The Reagan years permanently shattered that infatuation. 'Nuff said.

    February 28, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  7. bob golden

    hey Mike from Iowa - let me guess? You have never started a business? Worked a paper route? Sold baseball cards? Ran a garage sale? Do you do anything for yourself or just sit around waiting for somebody to help you? My Dad went bankrupt in 1981 during a REAL RECESSION. He refused food stamps in Wilkes Barre PA. All of us kids took up paper routes; helped shovel from flood homes in the Valley, and worked every odd job we can. Today all four of my dad's kids are business owners. I work 7 days a week so does my wife in our business. We are late 40s now. We made 420K last year in take home pay on sales of about 6M. We hire the best - achievers who don't whine. We pay them above market. We pay 70% of all their health, dental, vision care, plus 3k for their 401k. We pay cash and stock bonuses. And what did your moron Barack do for us? Tell us we are greedy. Offer NOTHING for small business owners or employees in this country. He is paying off every liberal friend he can find. Every American should be ashamed. We have more freedom to succeed than anywhere on earth. That is WHY so many foreigners want to be here. Guys like you should be sent to socialist countries where you will be happy. We need more Indians, Chinese, Guatamalans, etc to take the place of every needy liberal out there trying to take something they did not earn. Look in the mirror – pretty sad, huh? Send me a resume – i'll give you a look. Be ready to work.

    February 28, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. Jan in NC

    podo3500 February 28th, 2009 8:19 pm ET

    The best candidate for the GOP is ,Newt Gingrich.
    ----------------------–

    So, Podo, you believ Newt is the best candidate? Isn't he one of the talking heads when Bill Clinton was having his troubles in the WH....but then wait! Wasn't it Mr. Newt who later admitted to his own extramarital affair that was going on at the same time he was the "down and out with Clinton" talking head?

    February 28, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  9. jw

    Hey Romney, come here. I have something important to tell you, but can you keep it a secret? Romney replies, "yes" Don't tell anybody this. Obama gonna tax you. It's time you pay.

    February 28, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. elana

    Well, Mr. Romney!! You must now contact Sara Palin, ASAP, and schedule a trip to Alaska, so Sara can teach you how to see Russia FROM YOUR HOUSE!!

    February 28, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  11. TheTruthHurts

    He seems like most of the VCs I know. Boring, sheltered and stiff. He's still more of a grownup than the rest of the Republican field. He doesn't denounce intellectual endeavor and believes in actual discussion over issues. For that, he stands alone among the Republican candidates. Now, if he doesn't have any major affiars or drug problems, he'll be a shoe-in for the nomination.

    Can't hold a candle to Obama and won't run if Obama is even mildly successful as president.

    February 28, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. WHAT A JOKE!!!!!!

    WHO EVER IS WITH ME PLEASE TYPE "2024"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 28, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  13. Irishny

    Good to see Ron Paul showing so well.
    maybe the republicans are finally realising that they need to get back to their roots!

    February 28, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. ray

    LOOK AT THIS MORON, THIS MORON COULD NOT WIN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY IN 2008 AND NOW HE IS THE FRONT RUNNER. THIS MAN IS A RACISTS, AMMIGRATNT HATER AMD ANY AMERICAN WHO VOTES FOR THIS RACISTS IS JUST LIKE HIM.

    February 28, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  15. 2024!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I HOPE HE DOES GET 2 BE THE GOP'S GUY IN 2012, THIS WAY I CAN SEE HIM LOSE IN PERSON!!!!! IF THIS IS THEIR GUY THEN THEY BETTER START MAKING PLANS FOR 2016….AND THEN IN 2016 THEY'LL GIVE US JINDAL AND HE'LL ALSO LOSE!!! SO THAT REALLY LEAVES THEM 2020!!!! OHHHHHH MY BAD, THEN U GOT PALIN AS YOUR CHOICE FOR 2020 AND SHE WILL ALSO LOSE!!! MAN, IT'S A LONG TIME TILL 2024…WOW!!!! SORRY GUYS, CAN'T U SEE, WE'RE TIERD OF THE BS FROM THE PARTY…ALL U GUYS DO IS TEAR APART!!! CHANGE OR BECOME LIKE THE MC HAMMER!!!! A THING OF THE PAST THAT WE CAN'T BELIEVE THAT WE USE TO LISTEN 2…I CHANGED PARTIES BECAUSE U GUYS ARE IDIOTS!!! SAD BUT TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    USA!!!!!!

    February 28, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  16. ray

    MITT IS A RACISTS AND AN IMMIGRANT HATER, ANYONE WHO VOTES FOR THIS RACISTS IS LIKE HIM.

    February 28, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  17. kent

    Beware America of this wolf in sheep's clothing.

    February 28, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  18. 2024!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WHO EVER IS FEELING ME PLEASE TYPE "2024" WE NEED TO SEND THEM A MESSAGE!!! CHANGE OR BECOME A THING OF THE PAST!!!!!!!

    February 28, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    LOSER!!!

    I can't wait until the FEDS bust him for trying to pull an insurance scam.

    February 28, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  20. rbloom

    What's with this wall-to-wall coverage of CPAC? I don't think you've even attended in past years. Could it be that with 60% to 80% of the country agreeing with President Obama, you're desperate for some kind of conflict and controversy to report?

    February 28, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  21. G.O.P.: When you got NOTHING, you go nothing to lose

    Rush/JoeThePlumber
    2012
    (Please) . . .

    February 28, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  22. Floyd in New York

    Sorry Liberal Dems. you can talk all the smack you want but you are in BIG trouble!! Your party cannot sustain the implosion that Nancy Pelosi,Harry Reid,Charles Shummer and Barack Obama are creating!

    February 28, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  23. Thank you

    Romney, Joe the Plumber, Palin, Limburgh, Coulter, Jindal, etc. Thank you. A guaranteed 2012 win and more blue states.

    February 28, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  24. demo in PA

    well i was voting rep before i seen limp brain talk
    i cant sand that drug user

    February 28, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
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