Mr. Romney has struggled to win the allegiance of the most conservative Republicans, and made his strongest appeal yet to them in his speech to the conference on Friday. The Romney campaign also worked aggressively behind the scenes for a strong showing, including busing students from colleges along the Eastern Seaboard to show their support.
1) This is the problem with straw polls -- whether at CPAC, in Iowa, or anywhere else. The numbers don't mean anything, as the small, self-selected sample is not representative of the population at large and can be manipulated by a candidate with a big bankroll or a strong GOTV effort.
2) This is how Ron Paul has done so well in so many straw polls over the last couple of years, and why I disregard the outcome of such votes. For that matter, this is the same sort of problem that we see with the caucus system for selecting delegates.
But as for this being some sort of scandal, I don't think so. After all, Romney is neither the first not the last to bring in supporters for a straw poll -- and so the results of such votes should be given all the credence merited by the results of an internet poll on a newspaper website.