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CPAC survey & straw poll show financial issues still dominate. Result: Romney wins

RomneyCPACpollIn the run-up to the CPAC straw poll, there was a bit of buzz about the resurgence of social issues for conservative voters -- an inevitable result of President Obama's contraception rule and the blowback of it.

The conventional wisdom: This plays to Rick Santorum's strengths because he's the real social conservative. Also, Santorum's recent three-state victory and Mitt Romney's apparent bungling of it all last week gave a boost to Santorum, who arguably gave a better CPAC speech than Romney as well.


RomneyCPACstrawBut when the results came in, Romney won both the straw poll and a scientific survey of Republican voters conducted by Fabrizio & McLaughlin. There is a difference between the two, however. Romney's win was only 2 percentage points in the Fabrizio survey -- well within the 4% error margin. But in the straw poll Romney won by 7. Clearly, there was some deck-stacking as well in Romney's favor at the CPAC hall.

Still, Romney is running as the economy and deficit-busting candidate. And the poll showed that conservatives cared far more about that than any other issues. Caveat: it could be argued that social issues weren't specifically polled, so this could misrepresent the level of importance. But CPAC knows conservatives, so it's likely the poll reflected what conservatives care about.


The poll results are here:

Download 2-12 CPAC Straw Poll and National Survey Comparison


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If Republicans nominate Santorum because of his social conservatism, they will lose. Independents want the economy fixed. That's the priority. Romney best represents that need, not Santorum. If Santorum becomes the nominee, the debate will be more about social issues and less about the economy.


The statement that 20% of cpac polled said Obama has done a good job is flat FALSE.
The fact is that 2% of cpac attendees polled said that OOO had done a good job.

The national poll said 20%. Let's keep the discussion honest please.

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