Coming off a heady week of endorsements from heavyweights in the Christian Right world, including Bob Jones III and Don Wilton, former president of the South Carolina Southern Baptist Convention, Mitt Romney technically won the straw poll with 1,585 of the total 5,576 votes cast. But it was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who lit up the crowd with a fiery sermon as the last candidate to address the gathering. He took second place, just 30 votes behind Romney. When organizers broke the votes down into those cast online and those of summit attendees, the results revealed a true thrashing. In the tally of those present at the summit, Huckabee swamped his opponents, capturing 50% of the vote. By contrast, Romney was the choice of only 10% of on-site values voters.
A strategist for a campaign that is neither Romney’s nor Huckabee’s: “How did Mike Huckabee’s media team let headlines get out that said, ‘Romney Wins FRC Straw Poll’? (A good collection of those headlines can be found here.) This guy won almost all of the votes that were available on the floor. He’s the much more compelling story coming out of the straw poll. His team ought to be trying to get the ‘Huckabee’s the real winner’ story out there.
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