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October, 20th 2007

Another purchased Romney straw poll victory

– Liz Mair

Jonathan Martin has details of how Romney bought another straw poll, this time the Family Research Council's Values Voter straw poll.

Among actual attendees of the FRC's Values Voter conference/summit, Mike Huckabee took a stunning 51% of the vote. But, because the FRC allowed online voting among people who contributed as little as $1 to the FRC, Romney won overall.

Today, I had occasion to speak to a couple of swing voters, independents who could go either way next year. They pointed to Romney's interest in "astroturfing" as opposed to grassroots, buying victories and slick manipulation of the system-- not to mention the fact that with his flip-flopping, he now looks about as trustworthy and consistent as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde-- as a key reason why they will in no circumstances vote for him.

Obviously, I hear similar comments from actual Republicans a lot, too, with a number of those I know, ranging from moderate to very conservative, saying they will either sit 2008 out, or vote for and/or donate to Hillary, should it be a Romney-Hillary matchup.

I know I have a reputation as a Romney basher (and it is deserved)-- and consequently, me pointing out the little things like the rigging of straw polls and the impact they're having on people's perceptions of Mitt will be dismissed by his supporters as not credible, or nonsense. But believe me, the "Anybody But Mitt" contingent in the American electorate seems to be growing by the day. And someone on Romney's team would do well to take note, and tell him to stop the hijinks.

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