SANTORUM WINS straw poll at Akron GOP dinner | Politics Extra

By at February 19, 2012 | 10:11 am | Print

SANTORUM WINS straw poll at Akron GOP dinner | Politics Extra

AKRON — Speaking to his largest crowd yet in his two-day swing through Ohio, presidential candidate Rick Santorum captured 74 percent of the vote at the annual Lincoln Day dinner of the Summit County Republican Party — and that was before people heard what he had to say.

At the evening event at the University of Akron, Santorum picked up the endorsement of the county party’s powerful chairman, Alex R. Arshinkoff. And though he hasn’t officially said he was endorsing Santorum, Ohio House Speaker William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, led audiences in Akron and Columbus to believe he had done just that through his introductory remarks.

More than 1,350 attended the Akron event and another 425 had to be turned away, according to Arshinkoff. A number of attendees were seated in an adjoining room to the banquet hall and watched on large screen televisions while they ate. A nine-piece brass ensemble of university students played throughout the evening.

But across a street from the gathering about 40 protesters shouted at Republicans as they lined up to go into the banquet hall. Four hours later the protesters, unhappy with Republican policies, were still there, but stood silently with lit candles in the growing chill as Republicans left to go home.

Of those attending, 1068 participated in the poll using ballots with a  rotated ordering of the candidates. Mitt Romney received 15 percent of the vote, Ron Paul got 6 percent and Newt Gingrich received 5 percent.

Attorney General Mike DeWine has been at every stop with Santorum over the past two days in Ohio after announcing his switch of allegiance from Romney on Friday. He was joined at the Akron dinner by other state officeholders, including Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, who lives in Summit County, Auditor David Yost and State Treasurer Josh Mandel. None, except DeWine, have endorsed a presidential candidate.

via Santorum wins straw poll at Akron GOP dinner | Politics Extra.

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