Saturday, February 11, 2012

Romney Wins CPAC Straw Poll And Maine Caucuses

With those victories, Romney snaps any momentum Santorum was building with his earlier sweep.

"Mitt Romney won The Washington Times/CPAC Presidential Straw Poll on Saturday, and also nipped Rick Santorum as the top choice of conservatives nationwide, according to a new version of the poll conducted for the first time this year that suggests Mr. Romney retains strong support among self-identified conservatives.

Mr. Romney won 38 percent of the straw poll, which counted the votes of 3,408 activists gathered for the Conservative Political Action Conference, which ran from Thursday through Saturday at a hotel in Washington.

Mr. Santorum was second with 31 percent, Newt Gingrich was third with 15 percent and Rep. Ron Paul was fourth with 12 percent — far below his showing the last two years, when he won with 31 in 2010 and 30 percent in 2011.

"Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney ended what had been the worst week of his campaign with a quick one-two Saturday -- winning the Maine caucuses hours after placing first in a closely watched straw poll of conservative leaders and activists.

In Maine, Romney squeaked out a tight win over Texas Rep. Ron Paul in that state's Republican presidential caucuses, taking 39% of the vote to Paul's 36%. He had gone 0-for-3 in Tuesday's contests in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri, which all went to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

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