The results of the straw poll following the first ever Values Voter Presidential Debate in Fort Lauderdale this evening are in — and the results are irrefutable: Mike Huckabee is the only candidate for values voters in 2008.
Brett and I were present at the debate tonight. Not only did Huckubee take 63 percent of the vote, but according to pre-polling of delegates he picked up almost 33 percent of the vote following his debate performance. It was truly a masterful performance.
UPDATE: You can watch the entire debate online here.
UPDATE: Here are the official results, with numbers in parentheses referring to pre-debate polling of delegates:
Mike Huckabee: 219 (119)This was not a straw poll where candidates bus in supporters — as Huckabee told us afterwards, his campaign made no effort to get delegates there to vote for him. Instead the delegates were hand-selected by forty of the top conservative leaders in the country and made their decision.
Ron Paul: 44 (53)
Alan Keyes: 24 (30)
Sam Brownback: 18 (26)
Fred Thompson: 15 (52)
Duncan Hunter: 13 (8)
Tom Tancredo: 7 (8)
Rudy Guiliani: 4 (16)
John Cox: 2 (1)
John McCain: 2 (13)
Mitt Romney: 0 (14)
What this means is that the real winner of the debate tonight was not Huckabee, but the Values Voters block, which now has a clear candidate to rally behind.