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BTN: Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney ended his presidential bid today, unable to expand his appeal beyond his party's most conservative voters. But he exits the race a more popular figure among all Republicans than when he entered, boding well for his political future.

He is the first candidate to drop out having won a state this year. Here's a look behind the numbers ...

Number of 1st place finishes: 11
Number of 2nd place finishes: 11
Number of 3rd place finishes: 6
Number of 4th place finishes: 1

Estimated delegate count: McCain 613, Romney 269, Huckabee 190.

Highest point in Post-ABC national poll: 24 percent in the most recent poll, registering a distant second place in what had become a three-person race.

In 13 out the 14 states with GOP exit polls on Tuesday, Romney outdistanced McCain among "very conservative" Republicans, but he trailed the Arizona senator by even larger margins among moderate Republicans. He won those in the middle only in Utah, and he also lost "somewhat conservative" voters in key states, including California, Illinois and New York.

In Romney's home state of Massachusetts, where nearly half of all GOP voters were moderate or liberal, McCain won these voters by a nearly 2 to 1 margin. But even as he lost moderates and liberals in state after state, his popularity among all Republicans increased even as some of his rivals became more agitated with him.

Romney improved his standing among Republicans across the ideological spectrum. In a January Washington Post-ABC national poll, six in 10 moderate and liberal Republicans reported having a favorable impression of Romney.

However, Gov. Romney's favorability ratings suffered dramatically among independents and Democrats over the course of the campaign, dragging down his overall ratings. In December 2006, a majority of Americans expressed no opinion about him, and there was an unpromising split between those rating him positively and negatively (22 percent and 24 percent). By last month, eight in 10 were familiar with Romney, and the percentage viewing him unfavorably had nearly doubled, to 46 percent.

For some Republicans, Romney's Mormon faith proved a lingering source of hesitation. In the January Post-ABC poll, more than a quarter of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents said they were less enthusiastic about Romney's candidacy because of his religion. Among white evangelical Protestants, 42 percent said his religious beliefs made them less apt to support him.

Here's a profile of Romney's supporters from the California primary, a state he made a late push to win, and nationally. (Lists percentage of Romney supporters who are in each category. E.g., 76 percent of his supporters in California identified themselves as conservatives, as did 77 percent in the most recent Post-ABC national poll.)

                          Post-ABC
                        Calif.  Nat'l
%Conservative             76     77
%Very conservative        41     37
%Moderate                 17     19
%Liberal                   7      5
%Republican               85     77
%Independent              14     16
%Evangelical              33     45
%Weekly churchgoers       43     NA
Top issue
%Economy                  29     NA
%Immigration              41     NA
Top candidate quality
%"Says what he believes"  15     NA
%"Shares my values"       49     NA
%"Experience"             27     NA
*From NEP exit polls . 

By Jon Cohen  |  February 7, 2008; 2:27 PM ET
Categories:  Polls  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Parsing the GOP: The Bush Factor
Next: Parsing the GOP: Evangelicals

Comments

Today's "Republicans" are fools. They don't even know what they stand for. Small government, low taxes, lots of personal freedom? Not our Republicans! How about big brother, tax cuts for corporations, and spending, yes, lots of spending. That's what today's "Republican party" is all about.

There is one man who hasn't lost his way. Like the idea of lower taxes? Ron Paul is ready to abolish the IRS, the Federal Reserve, and return our currency to a gold standard. How will our huge government function without our illegally collected income taxes? Simple, it won't be a huge government - it will be a small, constitutionally limited government. I was a democrat, so I don't know, am I sounding Republican here?

America became the most prosperous nation on Earth through low taxes and a limited government. Now, if we leave the current Republicans OR Democrats to continue on this failed course of action it'll cost 40 bucks to buy a bottle of water.

Big government doesn't work - the FDA can't protect people from harmful food or drugs, Social Security is going to be broke soon, government managed healthcare is a disaster, FEMA - need I go on?

Ron Paul can save the GOP. Ron Paul will MOP THE FLOOR with either Hillary or Barak. But if he isn't their choice then, ironically, the GOP will disappear just like the Whigs - the very party their fresh ideas challenged and were successful against.

If you love America and the Constitution it was founded on, you owe it to your soul to go check out Dr. Paul.

RON PAUL REVOLUTION! www.ronpaul2008.com

Posted by: Stine | February 7, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

We love you Mitt!! We'll definitely get our GOP acts together in the next 4 years and see you again on the top!!!

Posted by: Ruthie | February 7, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Once again the up-front primaries have denied me the opportunity to cast a vote for my candidate and I'm stuck with "left" overs (pun intended). Having Iowa and their arcane caucus system perpetually allowed to go first, followed by New Hampshire, where half the state is registered Independent allowed to vote in either primary, then effectively ending the nomination process in a single blow with a 22 state Super Tuesday "national primary" makes no sense at all for selecting the Republican nominee. Neither does the winner take all rule if you don't win with a majority of the vote. Half of the country still hasn't voted in a primary -- but it is over. John McCain came out on top by winning a number of moderate Republicans in blue states that he will never carry in Nov while Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney were splitting the conservative vote. Very few primaries were won with a majority of the vote going to the winner. Mitt Romney had 11 first place and 11 second place finishes and he is out of the running. Mitt, I wish you had hung in there a while longer to give the rest of us a chance to vote and show our support. I agree with the analyst who said when you put a Democrat against liberal Republican who sounds like a Democrat, the Democrats will always follow the party and the Independents will vote for the real Democrat instead of the imitation. We Republicans are going to spend the next 8 years "wandering the political wilderness" over this one.

Posted by: Rich in VA | February 7, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney-- A man whois - Patriotic, Highly Educated, Intelligent, Articulate, Principled, Diplomatic, Hard Working, Savvy, Polished, Honorable, Faithful, Successful, Conservative, Family Man, Informed, Energetic, Fair, Capable, Talented, Open Minded, Experienced, Strong, Courageous, Charitable, Selfless, Respected ... For every one of these attributes there is a true life story of the real Mitt Romney. I wish everyone could know the real Mitt Romney. Our country could only be well served by this man.

Posted by: Gail | February 8, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Mitt got out too soon.
He said he his campaign would go on.
America loses a great leader.
I will NEVER vote for McCain

Posted by: jw | February 9, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I was in Salt Lake City when the olympic scandal erupted and all was bleak and dismal. Mitt Romney saved the 2002 winter olympics. It was remarkable what he was able to pull off. If you really want to compare candidates abilities as agents of real change and vision and leadership and intelligence, look up all of the candidates on wikipedia and read about what they have really factually done. Mitt Romney blows away the competition. America...you screwed up by not keeping this guy in the race. There's a reason he has made hundreds of millions of dollars. Oh well maybe in 2012 we'll wake up. Obama over Mitt Romney.....you have got to be kidding!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Kerry | February 13, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

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