In a telling, but non-scientific, survey of the Republican Party’s social conservative base, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) won the 2009 Values Voter straw poll with a 28 percent plurality of the vote. Five-hundred and ninety-seven people voted. In October 2007, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) won the first straw poll held by this young event, a controversial result skewed by online voting by people who didn’t attend the conference.
This year, everyone was ready for Romney's tricks. Only people registered and present were able to vote and Huckabee came out in front (28%) of Romney (12%).
Huckabee's speech left Romney on the defense.
"In fact, the only thing inexpensive about Massachusetts' health care bill is that there, you can get a $50 abortion," Huckabee said, drawing instant pushback from the Romney camp.
I hope Romney knows this time to stay out of a race he'll never get grassroots support for.