Back in 2007, Mitt Romney tried to jumpstart his doomed presidential campaign by freeping the online voting for the Value Voters Summit straw poll for a narrow first place finish over Mike Huckabee.
This year, with no online voting, Huckabee won the second straw poll decisively with 28% of the vote. Romney eked out a second-place finish with 12.4 percent, just barely ahead of Tim Pawlenty’s 12.23, Sarah Palin’s 12.06, and Rep. Mike Pence’s 11.89.
Huckabee and Romney squabbled over healthcare in their respective speeches, but saved their edgier soundbites for Obama, with Huckabee casting Democrats as the priests of Baal and Romney endorsing tea-partying “patriots” and Joe Wilson’s “You lie.” Overall, speakers achieved consensus on town hall protesters not being racists or in any way, shape or form an “angry mob”
Tony Perkins, head of Summit sponsor the Family Research Council, called Huckabee “well oiled” (no idea) and praised his “potential,” but hastened to point out that the FRC wants a “fully-rounded conservative candidate” and hasn’t committed the support of their PAC to anyone yet.
This will, no doubt, be somewhat dampening to anyone who thought that a decisive 28% of the less than a third of religious conservative conference attendees who bothered to vote in a straw poll three years ahead of the election were actually settling something.