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. Mike, FL

    Thats just great! They picked a former wall street fat cat who made his fortunes selling mortgage backed securities!

    February 28, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. John in KY

    No Repugs ever-again!

    February 28, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  3. We Shall Overcome

    What?! No Rush the college dropout? aka the republican Messiah

    February 28, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. Al from Atlanta

    Wow ... that and a dollar will get him a cup of coffee. What Mitt needs to do now is become a female immigrant. If he manages to pull that off, he may just have what it takes to become the next nominee to represent the Republican party! Otherwise, he can sit on the bench and watch Palin/Jindal lose the next presidential race four years from now like everyone else.

    Who needs a truly talented person to represent the Republican party anyhow? Us morons just want someone who can speak down to us and kill a moose.

    February 28, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  5. Yeah Whatever!!

    So!

    February 28, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. badger

    After listening to mitt's speech it left me wondering. Do any of these guys have any moral fiber in their souls? TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH, NO REGULATIONS, INVADE IRAN, DON'T SPEND ANY MONEY ON THE REAL AMERICANS, MORE MONEY FOR THE CEO'S, AUTO WORKERS MAKE TO MUCH MONEY, WHERE'S MY BONUS I RAN MY COMPANY INTO THE GROUND, GIVE ME THE BAILOUT MONEY I NEED A VACATION, WE HID THE COST OF THE WAR IN IRAQ SO NO ONE WOULD SEE HOW MUCH IT REALLY COST, MAKE SURE WE TORTURE TERRORIST, NUKE CHICAGO, SOCIALISM IS COMING, CONSERVATIST NEED TO TAKE IT TO THE STREETS, LIBERALS ARE EVIL, HIGHER TAXES ARE COMING, LEAVE THOSE POOR BASTADS THAT TOOK SUBPRIME MORTAGES LOOSE THERE HOMES, OBAMA IS A MARKSIST, OBAMA IS NOT A LEADER, OBAMA WANTS TO REDISTRIBUTE THE WEALTH, AND ON AND ON. VOTE NO ON EVERYTHING THAT OBAMA OR THE DEMOCRATS PROPOSE, WE NEED TO BE OBSTRUCTIONIST TO SAVE AMERICA. This all from the mouths of the conservative right at the cpa. God help us all.

    February 28, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  7. podo3500

    The best candidate for the GOP is ,Newt Gingrich. Not bcs he could beat Obama in 2012, but bcs he is the only one who can best rally the Republican party during this period on doubts and confusion.
    All the other candidates are obsessed with Conservativism , which unfortunately failed for the past eight years. Sarah will be good for 2016. Reasons bcs she needs time to get over the insults she said about Obama, which unfortunately did not work. Mitt Romney, is a good guy, but the fact that he is selling some of his Mansions , means he broke, and the GOP doesn't need such a leader. Fall of Wall Street hit him hard? .Poor Rudy, got merely %3 percent? What really went wrong? Ok lets not fight, this is not the right time. We got a properly deserved elected president. He appreciates you fervent support . Don't let the Americans down. Without the GOP, with all that chunk of money in offshore banks, which is helping to run the US economy and banks down, how can the private sector create jobs in the USA? Obama was right. Conservative bunkers.

    February 28, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  8. Ina

    Yuck

    February 28, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. Carol

    Another rich, corporate, top 2% income elitist. How original the Repubican party.

    February 28, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. JOE

    Who CARES?????

    February 28, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  11. Mike, FL

    How do the Reps expect to win again if they only support the radical extremists, big biz and the religious right ideologiy!! These group account for no more than 20% of the population!

    February 28, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  12. wow

    You guys just gave obama 4 more years. Nice one

    February 28, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  13. John

    Well good for Willard – the old cult sleazeball!

    February 28, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. bob golden

    Romney is a good man. Too liberal for my tastes, but a good citizen and solid man. I think he respects the fact that business and entrepreneurship are essential to generating American wealth - nothing else works. He understands that liberals want free things, which is cute, but it requires business people who work 7 days a week, often for nothing, year after year trying to create wealth and keep us competitive globally. Romney understands that. He also realizes a balance is needed, and we have to tax some of the wealth to provide for certain public services. He understands STATES are supposed to have the most rights. The states gave the power to the federal government – and it was meant to be limited! Liberals, trained in our dumbed down unionized school systems, do not know how the federal government was created. They deserve to be trained, they deserve to know the truth. I don't know how we can teach them. All suggestions welcome.

    February 28, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  15. america first

    no republicans, no way, no how.

    February 28, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  16. Alfred E Neumann

    Maybe he can lend Norm Coleman some straw?

    February 28, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Economic 101

    I am fired up....I want the radicals out as soon as possible....I want our Country back ASAP

    GOD HELP AMERICA AND PROTECT IT FROM EVIL!!!!!

    February 28, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  18. simmy

    Straw Poll for the Straw Politician. Bite my Demo-Dust!

    February 28, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  19. Tim

    While these people will stop campaining after 8years of headache and 2years of campain?

    February 28, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  20. harry

    Nothing here. He is still a mormon!

    February 28, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. scc

    I bet the poll results would vary if the viewers were say Fox News fans.

    February 28, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. Mike,Iowa

    Why are the republicans so worried about 2012? All they have done lately is disagree with everything President Obama wants to do and downgrade every non conservative in the country. Bobby Jindal said that the republicans dont want More Government becuase the republicans believe in the people of America... What the hell are we supposed to do when we are losing our jobs and homes and can't even afford to take care of ourselves? If these were regular people at a regular job they all would have been fired a long time ago! We Americans depend on our government but what are we supposed to do when our government fails us? We sit back and watch them argue like little kids while our world falls apart around us. You believe in us but whe do not believe in you! At least we have a president that is trying to fix things for us and actually comming up with solutions. Wanting to make our government do right by it's people for a change! All the republicans seem to care about is being arogant,wealthy and powerful! They dont want the government to fix things for us so they dont have to take the blame when things dont work out. So they can sit back and point fingers at other people and act as if they had nothing to do with any of it. They dont care about us they only care about themselves and "their kind". They dont have to worry about losing their homes or jobs so they dont have to care about us! They know that the American worker and the American soldier are replaceable. That is why they are quick to go to war and that is why they dont want to do anything to help the American working man! They know when one person loses a job or a soldier dies in battle they have people wanting in line to take their place. All the American people are to the republicans are sheep being led to slaughter....

    February 28, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. Franky

    What the?? Mitt won the poll?? That's troubling to me, I thought Gov Palin or Gov Jindal would come through. No offense but those people that are running, I know who they are, what do they got?? They got no game, for crying out loud, Senator McCain won...SENATOR MCCAIN! Is troubling to me, and if they can't see that, then they have WAY more complications then they don't realize...

    I'm sorry but if they ran, I'll bet the ranch they won't win, prove me otherwise...

    February 28, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. George

    Where were the republicans the last 8years when we were stimulating Iraq

    February 28, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. marc

    I sent a comment hours ago, why has it not been posted?

    February 28, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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