Rigging the Vote at CPAC

The year’s CPAC event was pretty much like every other CPAC:  candidates pandered, right-wing speakers launched crazy accusations, a vibe of general weirdness pervaded … and Ann Coulter said something predictably moronic.

But everything appears to have worked out for Gov. Mitt Romney, who was so committed to winning CPAC’s meaningless straw poll that his campaign brought in some 225 students to stuff the ballot box.  And it paid off, with Romney winning 21 percent of the 1,705 votes cast, meaning Romney received 359 votes.

So, ignoring the 225 votes Romney bought and paid for, he received only 134 votes among the other 1480 cast, giving him just over 9% – less than Giuliani (17%), Brownback (15%), Gingrich (14%), and McCain (12%).  

Considering that Gingrich isn’t even an announced candidate and McCain openly snubbed the event, Romney’s “victory” appears to have been anything but.