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. Happy with new President

    This is great!
    For third year in row, republicans are voting for same losers. Romney, McShame, Palin, Jindal, Stele, etc. Anything new?
    Please, please, nominate somebody of them for 2012, we just need a good laugh and comedy. Life is bad, but good laugh can help!

    February 28, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  2. Grammiej

    OH Gee Golly!! Pretty face wins!!

    I want to send a big solid "BOO" to CNN for showing limbaugh's babbling. He is a disgraceful, sweatin poor example of what should be on TV. So sad to see my favorite network, CNN, actually show all of his babble. I am disappointed.

    February 28, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. Bill

    I know the results of this mean absolutely nothing, but it's funny to see Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin place so prominently in the results. Bobby Jindal did a lousy job on the GOP retort the other night, and just seemed fairly creepy. And well, Sarah Palin was rejected strongly in the last election. I don't think there are enough hallucinogens in the country to make her a viable candidate on the national stage.

    February 28, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. Charles

    Limbaugh is a COWARD that maikes a lot of noise in situations where he cannot be challenged. I would love to see Dummy Limbaugh in debate with legitimate presidential candidates, because he would get hif big fat butt kicked.

    I am ashamed that CNN allowed Limbaugh the air time to give his self proclaimed first state of the union address. CNN even allowed him to go over his allotted time by one hour. If he ever runs for president, he will be exposed.

    February 28, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  5. Gary

    Pretty pathetic, the front runner bareley gets 20% of his own party's votes.
    Good to see Guiliani and Sanford down on the bottom. I see a comparison of their % of votes to their IQ.

    February 28, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  6. C W


    February 28, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. mimi


    February 28, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. james s

    I live in Utah, Mitt Romney's home state, he has forever been a member of a religion that has only recently recognized blacks as somewhat equal and worthy of being a part of that religion, this should tell you a little about his politics and why he fits so well within the Republican party.

    February 28, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    These people are lost on Gilligan's Island.

    February 28, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  10. Happy Camper

    Ron Paul should of received 100%

    February 28, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. Sam

    Ouch. The Republicans better hope someone comes out of nowhere, because Romney or Paul won't get the evangelicals and Palin and Jindal won't get the moderate Republicans or independent voters. I see the US map looking very blue on Election Day in 2012.

    If I was a Republican, I would want Ron Paul to get the nomination. As a very liberal-minded American, I am not very high on conservative economics, but Paul is the only sane person I see on this list.

    February 28, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  12. S. Boatman Warrensburg, Mo.

    i hope romney wins his parties nomination next time around! then obama can get his second term and this country may still have a chance to recover from republican rule!

    February 28, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  13. Lorraine

    at least its not Sarah Palin!

    February 28, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. Ryan

    Haha... phew! I thought they were gonna find someone threatening for a moment...

    Mitt 'Who Let The Dogs Out' Romney can fail twice now! Go Mitt!

    February 28, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. Obama 2.0

    What is fascinating to watch is the spliting of the Republican party. There will be two minority Republican parties before the next election. With Obama leading the way he is, he will win big in 012 40+ states.

    February 28, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. Larry McGee

    I didn't realize how right Obama was until, I listened to the recent
    conservative speaker , Rush Limbaugh. and the standing ovations. Your educational system is really in trouble and is in need of desparate improvements. I just don't think "Barack" invested enough to fix it!

    February 28, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. Malik


    February 28, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. fearful for my country

    As a former democrat who was forced to vote Republican, could we PLEASE have a viable "In the middle" candidate step forward for 2012?

    February 28, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. m davis

    CNN,s reporter Anchor Randi said Rush did not mention that he was being broadcast by CNN and the reporter at The CPAC comfirmed this. I watch the last hour and I heard Rush mention the International Broadcast by CNN on sattilite several times. CNN how many people working there let your on air announcers down by letting them lie to your public. Rewind and watch again.

    February 28, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. redbarchetta88

    Angry liberal throwing a temper tantrum in three....two....one go!

    February 28, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  21. Erik in Real Pennsylvania

    So much for something new from the Republicans.

    February 28, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  22. Daniel, Atlanta, GA, ex-republican

    The only good thing I can say about Romney is that he isn't a mean, nasty, evangelical, republican Christian. I think we need a mormon to shake up the evangelical's grip on the GOP! Go Romney!

    February 28, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. chuck

    IS THAT ALL YOU HAVE???????????????????????????????????? //////////////////////////.WHERE IS JOE THE PLUMBER??? SARAH THE BRAINLESS??? BOBBY -–YOU KNOW WHO?

    February 28, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  24. Independent

    I watched him in the primary debates, he is quite scary. McCain and Huckbee called him out on so many lies...He will say anything to be elected!!!!!

    February 28, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. FreeNLovIt

    If you want to clean up Washington, you'll need to pick Huckabee. Romney seems like a nice man with too many skeletons in the closet.

    February 28, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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