Less than 30% of conservative activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference “strongly support” him

(Manassas, VA, February 9) Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of, today released the results of a true random poll of 1,000 conservative activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. CPAC is the nation’s largest annual gathering of conservatives, and was chosen by former Gov. Mitt Romney as the place where he announced his withdrewal from the GOP presidential race on Thursday.

The first question asked of the 1,000 conservative activists was: “In your opinion, is Senator John McCain a true conservative?”

The results:

Yes                 197      (19.7%)
No                   595      (59.5%)
Undecided    208      (20.8%)

The second question was: “If Senator John McCain is the Republican nominee, I will…”

The results:

299      29.9%  “strongly support McCain”
279      27.9%  “I will vote for McCain, but do not expect to work or contribute”
35       3.5%  “I will vote for the Democratic nominee”
90       9.0%  “I will vote for a conservative third party candidate if one is on
                                     the ballot in my state”
40       4.0%  “I will not vote”
257      25.7%  “I am undecided at this time—I need to see if Senator McCain
                                     reaches out to conservatives in a serious and meaningful way”

“From these results, it is clear that Senator McCain has a challenge in gaining the conservative support he needs in order to win the general election,” says David Franke of “Only 3 in 10 conservative activists strongly support him. Even if you add in the people who will limit their activity to voting for him, and all of the undecided conservatives (not likely), he will have only 83.5% of the conservative vote. Historically, the Republican presidential candidate needs more than 80% of the conservative vote in order to win. The poll results show he can possibly reach that level of conservative support, but it will be dauntingly hard.”

Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of, pioneered ideological and political direct mail and has been called “the funding father of the conservative movement” for his role in helping build dozens of conservative organizations. He is the author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause (Bonus Books, 2006).