Huckabee Wins Values Voter 2012 Straw Poll
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee easily won the 2012 GOP straw poll taken Saturday at the Values Voter Summit, a strong signal that he could be the early favorite among social and religious conservatives in the next presidential race.Huckabee garnered more than 28 percent in the straw poll of Republican activists who gathered in Washington, D.C., for the conference sponsored by the Family Research Council. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney narrowly came in second, with Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.) close behind. All garnered roughly 12 percent of the vote. Nine possible 2012 Republican White House candidates were included in the poll, which about one-third of the 1,800 attendees participated in. Others who were tested were former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), who finished last. All of the top five finishers in the poll except for Palin addressed the four-day conference.