That’s my take — as a many-time CPAC attendee — on Rep. Paul’s win. As Chris Cillizza wrote:
Be careful not to read too much — or much at all — into these results. Paul’s supporters are loyal and loud but not, ultimately, that large a group as proven by the fact that he did not win a single primary or caucus in 2008.
Ben Smith adds:
Still, Romney scored second at 22%, the only other candidate in double digits, and the results are a reminder of his pre-eminence as the establishment GOP and conservative frontrunner.
I think that’s an important turn of phrase. Especially by the end of the 2008 campaign, Gov. Romney was the conservative frontrunner and the “CPAC choice.” But that wasn’t enough, as we all know, to deliver the GOP nomination. This year, without becoming some kind of mealy-mouthed moderate, he is dotting his i’s and crossing his t’s more broadly. I for one am encouraged.