Byron York wrote this morning about Mitt Romney’s reception yesterday by the CPAC crowd. Romney got a warm welcome; yet, Byron thought, there were aspects of his speech that gave pause to some who heard it. Today CPAC held its annual straw poll, and Romney won it with 38%. Is this a big deal? Well, I was at CPAC last year, and I didn’t think it was a big deal when Ron Paul won the straw poll. (Happily, Paul finished a distant fourth this year.) Still, Romney’s straw poll showing may help put to rest the idea that conservatives are more or less monolithically depressed by his candidacy.
Romney narrowly edged Ron Paul in the Maine caucuses today, too, so he is on a mini-winning streak. I’m not sure which is less significant, the CPAC poll or the Maine caucuses, but it is always better to win than to lose–for Romney, especially so after last Tuesday.
STEVE adds: I am not surprised that Ron Paul finished last, as the Paulbots were not much in evidence at CPAC, and Paul skipped the event entirely. But my sense was that Santorum would win, based on the effort the Santorum people were making, and chatter I was picking up. So Romney’s speech and quiet efforts by his campaign must have paid off.