David Brody on Romney’s performance at the FRC value voters summit: the people [who] actually heard the speeches thought Huckabee was the best candidate there

In a post titled Romney Scores An Important South Carolina Endorsement, a breathless Marc Ambinder writes: … Romney’s relentlessness and often monotonous repetition of his conversion story, the hours he spends with each evangelical leader his campaign pursues, the work of key advisers like Peter Flaherty and Gary Marx, the fecklessness of Fred Thompson’s late entrance, the public opposition to Rudy Giuliani, James Dobson’s tacit acceptance of Romney — it’s working.

Yes, right, only not so much, as David Brody of the BrodyFile explains in a post titled Romney Wins Value Voter Straw Poll…Wait. Is Huckabee the Winner?

I’m not sure how to explain this. Let’s start with this. Technically, Mitt Romney won the big Value Voters Straw poll but it’s not that simple. The vote was open to people online and in that sense, Romney won with 1595 votes compared to Mike Huckabee’s 1565 votes. It was just a 30 vote difference. But for the people that actually voted onsite, it was no contest. Huckabee won 488 votes to Romney’s second place 99. That’s called a thumpin’. Look at the results here.

Here’s what I make of all of this. Romney might be able to claim victory but the onsite voting is a better barometer. Still, the press release the Family Research Council sent out says it’s Romney and doesn’t even mention the onsite polling. Read it here. We should point out that there’s already stories about emails circulating to pump the online vote for Romney. Read more here. Clearly, the people that actually heard the speeches thought Huckabee was the best candidate there. It would be one thing if Huckabee and Romney were neck and neck for onsite voting but for Huckabee to be such an overwhelming onsite winner, that is saying something … etc., etc.

Huckabee crushes all comers, is how Erick of Redstate describes the results.

This despite the usual dishonesty and dirty tricks of the Romney campaign: Rivals accuse Romney of stacking evangelical straw poll

This despite Romney’s frantic efforts, as described by Steven Thomma of the McClatchy News Service in a release titled Social conservatives still ‘fishing’ for their preferred GOP candidate; Republican presidential candidates courted social conservatives Friday, seeking the support of a bloc of voters that hasn’t coalesced behind any one candidate

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made perhaps the most focused pitch for support, using an evening speech to portray himself as a zealous foe of abortion and friend of traditional marriage, even dispatching volunteers to hand out buttons proclaiming, “Evangelicals for Mitt” and rolling out endorsements from Christian conservatives.

But Romney faces questions among some Christian conservatives about his switch from abortion rights supporter to foe … etc., etc.

Aside: The hirelings and paid staff who pose as “Evangelicals for Mitt”—i.e. the “volunteers” that Romney “dispatched to hand out buttons”—were “banned from the FRC.

Conclusion: How many times have we retold this same story about the Romney campaign? Romney spends lots of money, expends tremendous effort, makes a great noise and out-organizes each of his rivals. The result: complete and utter failure.

Dearest, dearest Romney. Please understand: a campaign requires a message. And you haven’t got one. It is rational to reach out to the elites of an e.g. corporation, Mr. Romney—they are the decision makers. But a movement is by definition a loosely coupled, loosely cohering social entity, an entity where the ties that bind are moral as opposed to hierarchal. An e.g. well-known pastor is not like a CEO; he or she has a different kind of relationship with his or organization and its members. So: You’re going to have to learn how to reason, Mr. Romney, how to argue, and how to persuade—lies, bribes, pretending to be something that you are not—this is not persuasion—this is the antithesis of persuasion.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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  1. 1 how Team Romney spins a straw-poll debacle (i): Justin Hart on why you want to win a straw poll « who is willard milton romney?

    […] Yes, we get it, even without the all-caps shouting: you win straw polls as proof of momentum. But it necessarily follows that an equivocal win constitutes a dubious proof, right?—the whole point is that Romney’s so-called win is contested. See: David Brody on Romney’s performance at the FRC value voters summit: the people [who] actually hear… […]

  2. 2 Mitchell of “Evangelicals for Mitt”: Huckabee supporters are computer illiterates—but this means that Huckabee’s victory over Romney is even more significant—how Team Romney spins a straw-poll debacle (i) « who is willa

    […] The consensus is that Huckabee ruled the event—you can read about it here: David Brody on Romney’s performance at the FRC value voters summit: the people [who] actually hear… […]

  3. 3 Mitchell of “Evangelicals for Mitt”: Huckabee supporters are computer illiterates—but this means that Huckabee’s victory over Romney is even more significant—how Team Romney spins a straw-poll debacle (ii) « who is will

    […] The consensus is that Huckabee ruled the event—you can read about it here: David Brody on Romney’s performance at the FRC value voters summit: the people [who] actually hear… […]

  4. 4 out-of-touch Evangelical “leaders” stunned by Huckabee upset at the value voters summit—prepared to sigh, shrug, and coronate Romney as their Lord, God, and King « who is willard milton romney?

    […] of the Arlington Group—to go pack sand—and rightly so. Here is what we wrote in another context: Dearest, dearest Romney. Please understand: a campaign requires a message. And you haven’t […]




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