First of all, I don’t really care about the CPAC Straw Poll results. If it was relevant, Ron Paul would have been considered the GOP front runner over the past two years, and Mitt Romney would have won the nomination in 2008. It’s good for a small amount of buzz for a day or two, but that’s about it. I suspect most voters don’t even know what CPAC is, and those who are familiar with the annual conservative conference know how the straw poll is won.
According to the New York Times Caucus Blog, the Romney campaign bused students in from colleges on the Eastern Seaboard to ensure that he had enough supporters there to enable his victory in the straw poll.
…Straw polls indicate very little. The voting pool is affected by who attends the conference — 44 percent of voters were students — and by special efforts campaigns can make to bring in supporters for the vote. In each of the last two years, Mr. Paul was the victor, but others said this was more a mark of his campaign’s organizational ability than its true support…
….The Romney campaign also worked aggressively behind the scenes for a strong showing, including busing students from colleges along the Eastern Seaboard to show their support….
Do I care? Not really. This is all well within the rules of the game, but let’s not pretend that this is some “severely” impressive display of the strength of Mitt Romney with conservatives.