Romney's CPAC Performance

Mitt Romney said the word "conservative" 18 times in his big CPAC speech Friday (or "conservatives" or "conservatism"), and bussed in a bunch of supporters to make a big splash at the conference. His speech was pretty well-received on the major right-wing web sites, and he squeeked out a first-place finish in the straw poll. That should give his supporters a little moral boost for a while.


It sure doesn't look like many of the regular conference-goers -- the ones whose hotel rooms aren't being paid for by Romney -- are sold on him. You can understand why large percentages of true conservatives would leave Giuliani and McCain off their ballots, but it's more telling that seven out of ten wouldn't make Romney, the supposed conservative alternative among the major candidates, one of their top two choices. (And it's even worse if you subtract out the Romney-paid votes.)

I think Romney did himself some good, but is still a long way from being the concensus-choice conservative alternative.

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