Mike Huckabee cruised to an easy victory in a presidential straw poll taken among attendees at a social conservative conference, beating a group of four other Republican contenders by an over two-to-one margin.
Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and a 2008 presidential candidate, won with just over 28 percent of the 597 votes cast by attendees at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the runner-up, narrowly edging out Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Alaska Gov. and Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and House Minority Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.). The four all received about 12% of the vote.
Huckabee spoke at the conference, saying "There are so many people who have told us as conservatives that we should move to the center, on the sanctity of marriage or the sanctity of life. I'm not sure the center makes a whole lot of sense when it's coming from people who certainly don't have our interest, or our country's interest, at heart."
This is just the first of many straw pols that will come before the 2012 election season starts, but it gives a hint about where traditional conservatives are leaning.