Bit of a surprise.
(Washington Times) — 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.
In the national survey, meanwhile, Mr. Romney barely topped Mr. Santorum 27 percent to 25 percent, with Mr. Gingrich in third place at 20 percent and Mr. Paul again trailing at 8 percent.