Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won a straw poll sponsored by the Conservative Political Action Conference and the Washington Times.
Front-runner Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, was the choice of 38 percent of the conservative activists surveyed. The survey polled 3,408 CPAC participants at the 39th annual CPAC gathering in Washington, which drew about 10,000 people
CPAC, hosted by the non-profit American Conservative Union Foundation, attracts Republicans motivated by cutting taxes and ending abortion rights, a voting bloc that has questioned Romney’s commitment to their causes.
Rick Santorum, fresh off victories in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, came in second with 31 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich came in third with 15 percent of the vote.
U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas, who won the group’s 2010 and 2011 straw polls, received 12 percent of the vote. Paul was the only one of the four remaining Republican presidential candidates to decline an invitation to speak at this year’s conference.
Maine Republicans are preparing to announce the results of their non-binding caucuses for the party’s nominee tonight.
The CPAC poll, conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates, was taken between 9 a.m. Feb. 9 and 1 p.m. today. Pollster Tony Fabrizio said 44 percent of those surveyed were students and 97 percent disapproved of Democratic President Barack Obama’s performance.
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