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Santorum: Romney May Have Rigged CPAC Vote

I wholly agree with James Joyner’s statements earlier today about the general uselessness of any straw poll, including the one conducted annually at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which this year was won by Mitt Romney. Which is why I find Rick Santorum’s whining about the process rather amusing:

A groggy Rick Santorum, donning suit and tie, sans sweater vest, didn’t think much of Mitt Romney’s 38-to-31 percent win over him in last weekend’s CPAC presidential straw poll.

When CNN’s “State of the Union” host Candy Crowley said she was surprised Santorum didn’t do better with party conservatives, he shot back: “Well, you know, those straw polls at CPAC… for years Ron Paul has won those because he trucks in a lot of people, pays for their tickets, and they come in and vote and they leave. We didn’t do that, we don’t do that. i don’t try to rig straw polls.”

Did Romney rig CPAC?

“You have to talk to the Romney campaign and how many tickets they bought, we’ve heard all sorts of things,” Santorum said.

“We didn’t pay them to turn out,” he added, speaking of his supporters at CPAC, Missouri and elsewhere.

He went on to say that he didn’t think there was anything wrong with that, except he doesn’t want to engage in that kind of politics.

The Romney campaign denies “rigging” the vote, but in reality the charge is meaningless. There’s really no difference between the CPAC Straw Poll and the Ames Straw Poll last August. In both cases, campaigns do what they can to get supporters to the conference to score a victory in the belief, mistaken I think, that it would actually mean anything. Ron Paul’s campaign excelled at it for the previous three years, but with Paul passing up CPAC to campaign in Maine and other caucus states, there weren’t nearly as many Paul supporters in attendance this year as there were last year. The Romney campaign, by contrast, seemed to be all over the place, as did Santorum’s. Obviously, Romney’s get out the vote effort was effective.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ernieyeball says:

    Ricky Dink quotes Seinfeld. Relevancy plummets!

    He went on to say that he didn’t think there was anything wrong with that,..

    Kinda like bein’ gay in the USA…

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  2. Moosebreath says:

    But I thought Republicans don’t rig elections, only ACORN does.

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