Romney Won the CPAC Straw Vote

A Republican reader is unimpressed:

For all the kids he bussed in, he still won the straw poll by only four points, 21-17, over Rudy. Hell, even Condi got 10 percent last year! Mitt didn't exactly run away with the thing.

Down in South Carolina, in a straw poll with a much larger sample, he came in way behind McCain and Rudy. Your take on Romney is dead on: he's an opportunist - he'll sell his soul to Dobson and Falwell to get their money. I think Falwell, at least, is smarter and knows that the Big Game is against Hillary and is betting that Rudy is the stronger horse. Dobson simply wants control of the Hard Right and wants someone like Romney whose chain he can yank.

I expected Mitt to do well, but the national polls aren't lying: Mitt is running yesterday's campaign. He doesn't know it yet. Here's what's going to weaken Mitt: keep your eye on Duncan Hunter. Hunter is going to sap enough of the True Believers away from Mitt to keep Rudy out front permanently. Lots of Western Republican NRO types will vote for Duncan Hunter as a Plague on All Your Houses vote. Hunter has a solid defense record, as well.

And yes, Coulter is in the process of being exiled by polite company. Aside from being a stupid thing to say, you don't hand the D's a gift on a silver platter.