The crowds at CPAC have been large, make no mistake, however, what they have in size can sometimes be lacking in enthusiasm for the remaining presidential candidates.
The vast majority of people here are supporting Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich. Beyond that, I’ve seen a fair smattering of Ron Paul supporters as well, even if Ron Paul himself is not here. (To his credit, Paul is also going after delegates in Maine as part of their week-long caucus.)
Romney supporters, on the other hand, have been difficult to find. In all the conversations I’ve had, I’ve met…two.
It’s no secret that conservatives have not gotten behind Romney, what with his constant flipping, his dodging of questions during debate, and his pushing of somewhat liberal programs that served as precursors to programs like Obamacare or enabled programs like the auto bailouts and stimulus bills.
Now, add on to that Romney’s loss to aconservative rival – again. He was taken down in South Carolina by Newt Gingrich, and taken down in Minnesota and Colorado by Rick Santorum despite focusing resources and endorsements on the states.
The crowd here is more for Santorum than anyone else – and it would not surprise me to see a significant victory in tomorrow’s straw poll. At this point, Santorum’s got a lot of upside still.
Romney, on the other hand, may be on the precipice of seeing his campaign crash completely. His speech today at 12:55 (which can be followed in the live stream attached here) may be his best remaining chance to sell conservatives on the concept that he can really carry their support and carry out conservative ideals.
IF not…well, then we may see that brokered convention everyone dreams about.