The 2009 Values Voter Summit, hosted by the Family Research Council, released the results of its 2012 presidential straw poll this weekend. Mike Huckabee was easily the frontrunner, his 28.48% more than doubling that of first runner-up Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor.
Romney came in with 12.40% percent of the vote, followed by Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty at 12.23%, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin at 12.06%, and Rep. Mike Pence at 11.89%. Newt Gingrich and Bobby Jindal, whose names have also been circulated for a 2012 presidential bid, finished with less than 10% of the 579 total votes cast. To be eligible, voters had to be registered participants and present at the summit.
Several of the 2012 straw poll candidates were scheduled to speak to summit participants. This included Romney, who according to the AP delivered this gem to Democrats from the podium: “I’ll bet you never dreamed you’d look back at Jimmy Carter as the good old days.”
Romney was actually the top candidate in February among attendees of CPAC, another major conference for conservatives. There he won 20% of the 1,757 votes cast, while Jindal, came in second with 14%. In that poll, Huckabee finished behind Palin, Romney, Jindal, and Rep. Ron Paul. The Value Voter Summit speaks more to Huckabee’s base, however, since its emphasis is on social conservative issues.