RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Mitt Romney also got an unofficial endorsement from Republican activists yesterday, as the Conservative Political Action Conference came to a close. He won the organization's straw poll with 38 percent of the vote. Former senator Rick Santorum came in second place with 31 percent. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich was third with 15 percent and Ron Paul came in fourth with 12 percent.
It's a change of fortune for Congressman Paul, who won the CPAC straw poll the last two years. This year, conference organizers introduced a new method of voting, aimed at widening participation.
Though the poll results have no official value in the Republican presidential contest, the win is expected to help bolster Romney's conservative credentials. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.