Sunday, March 4, 2007

Initial Reactions To CPAC Poll Results

The results are in, Romney won this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), straw poll:

Romney 21%
Giuliani 17%
Brownback 15%
Gingrich 14%
McCain 12%
Other prospective 2008 nominees received less than 5%

Romney mounted a serious campaign to do well in the poll:

Romney flooded the convention with college-aged campaign workers — paying many of their registration fees and even busing some of them in and paying for their hotel rooms, according to a report in The New York Times — wearing blue Romney shirts, carrying posters for their candidate, and voting in the straw poll.
There are some interesting tidbits available about the CPAC attendees self-identification and how they voted.

Attendees who identified themselves as concerned primarily with reducing the size of government supported Romney and Giuliani essentially equally — 21% and 20% respectively.

Attendees concerned with "traditional values" preferred Brownback with 29% followed Romney at 22%, while Giuliani and McCain were tied at at 8%.

Giuliani led among national-security conservatives with 25% of their vote, followed by Mr. Romney with 21%, and Mr. McCain at 18%.

Giuliani is a highly acceptable second choice for those supporting other candidates. On a ballot combining attendees' first and second choices for the 2008 Republican nomination Giuliani came out on top:

Giuliani 34%,
Romney 30%
Gingrich 30%
Brownback 24%
McCain 20%

What does it all mean? Your opinion is as good as mine or that of anyone else. Remember that the poll is unscientific and there is still a year to go before the first 2008 primary votes are cast. Nevertheless, the straw poll results will help the top tier raise money - the life blood of the 2008 campaign. Other than that, the results provide bragging rights for the candidates and fodder for political junkies like us to ponder.

Here's my two cents on that score. Romney and Brownback get points for doing what was necessary to do well in the straw poll. Brownback can now be moved beyond the also rans, but continues to have difficulty with security voters for not supporting the revised Iraq strategy. McCain's campaign is in serious trouble and avoiding CPAC was a huge mistake. He should have attended and made his case.

What's your take?

From California Yankee.

1 comment:

Randall Ryan said...

I guess I'm not sure why you think McCain's campaign is in serious trouble. Realistically, it's a 3-horse race for the Republican nomination: McCain, Giuliani, and Romney. Gingrich could make some noise but, like John Edwards, his negatives are too high to give him a realistic chance. He's more likely to be a spoiler for someone else.

McCain wasn't going to do well in a CPAC poll; despite being a Barry Goldwater disciple, he's not considered conservative by today's standards. Therefore, I'm not sure that the showing in this poll means much. Plus, you can't discount that this is held in The Corridor, and being from the northeast favors Romney and Guiliani.