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

Romney wins conservative straw poll

[cnn-photo-caption image = http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/28/cpac/art.cpac.romney.gi.jpg.jpg
caption="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. Fan of Common Sense

    ROMNEY-PALIN 2012!!!

    February 28, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. Libby

    lol lol lol ....I can't stop laughing!

    February 28, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. cnnnewser

    NONE of these people will ever be president!!!
    And you can take that to the bank. LOL

    February 28, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. MATT

    This is it!!!!!!!! What a mess the Republican Party has become.

    February 28, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Jack in Ohio

    The Republican party is amost extinct. .....hopefully.

    February 28, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. Lindie

    Are you kidding me? This is it? Democrats have nothing to fear.

    February 28, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Wesley North

    This is pathetic.

    February 28, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Elly

    Mitt is very arrogant but at least he is intelligent!!
    Ron Paul is the best choice of them all

    February 28, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. Rob

    Now that's funny right there!

    February 28, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. Sadsville

    Just plain sad.

    February 28, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. thomas

    I've been watching Rush Limbaugh on CNN for what feels like hours and he hasn't said anything except that he wasn't pompous and arrogant while kidding about God pretending to be Rush Limbaugh.

    February 28, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. Chloe

    If this list stands, I smell a historical Democratic landslide.

    February 28, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Allison

    Why do we fear terrorists when we have the GOP?

    February 28, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. End Of An Error

    One has to wonder if he wears his protective underwear under that suit.

    And people think Tom Cruise is bad...

    February 28, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  15. JonDie


    February 28, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Denver Mom

    Huckabee for Prez, Romney for Vice....

    Although at this point ANYONE else would be nice...

    February 28, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Amanda

    This is indicative of the abysmal state of the Republican party !

    February 28, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Independent Dave

    Sarah got Third? I'll bet her panties are in a bunch!

    February 28, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. rr

    cnn you all look like moron airing rush who keep on saying fox fox like its the only station thats makes you cnn look even more stupid. u dont give somebody a flatform if he dont want any.

    February 28, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  20. Al

    First place in the collection of crooks and extremists. Congratulations.

    February 28, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. Gordon Shumway

    With candidates like Romney, Jindal, et al, I guess I'll just stay home next election day and let the country continue to "Socialize".

    February 28, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. Don

    I am not surprised by the poll results...as I sit here and watch Rush address this audience I am amazaed at his disrespect for the President, regardless of his differance on issues. I actually agree with many conservative ideals, especially when it comes to the role of Welfare and abuse of that system. However, I find it strange that conservatives or republicans, who have controlled the Government for over 50 of the last 100 years have done very little themselves to reform this system..I believe it was Bill Clinton who made great strides in Welfare reform...not a conservative. This attitude and mockery will not win those of us over that are in the middle. All I have gained from Rush is mockery and hatred and disrespect.

    February 28, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. Rick Sutter

    I, too, want Obama to fail . . . in his bid to destroy our capitolsim-based republic.

    February 28, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Former Obama Supporter

    I would've voted for him had he made it through the primaries. I think he was the right guy to sort out the problems in our economy.

    February 28, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. arithmetic is liberal

    The big tent of the Republican party is coming apart at the seams.

    I don't know a single fundamentalist Christian who would vote for Romney in a primary or caucus. Just like 2008.

    February 28, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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