Well, the CPAC results are in.
"The Big Winner" is Rudy Giuliani. First, of all, Rudy still has an "electability" issue. Can he win a primary? A lot of people are convinced that someone with his positions on social issues cannot win. The Giuliani campaign will tout this result to say, "we can win. Conservatives will support us." This should help him with donors and people in the activist community. When combined with Giuliani’s showing in Spartanburg, the Giuliani campaign has got to be happy.
Mitt Romney is clearly a winner. This was a must win for Romney after he got blown away in Spartanburg, and there were two articles about Romney trying to buy the straw poll. If he didn’t pull this off, it was over for him.
Sam Brownback is also a big winner. Brownback can and should use this to try to clear the field of people like Mike Huckabee (who only got 21 votes in Baptist Spartanburg), Jim Gilmore (who spent money at CPAC), Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, etc. This sets up a big showdown between Brownback and Romney for the social conservative vote.
I cannot help but be struck that the big loser is the conservative movement. Without a candidate. With only Newt really talking about ideas.