Mitt Romney won a presidential straw poll of Republican conservative activists on Saturday in a boost to his suddenly hard-fought battle against Rick Santorum.
Romney won 38 percent support among the 3,408 who voted at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Santorum, who swept three contests last Tuesday and has emerged as the chief threat to Romney, was second at 31 percent.
Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich won 15 percent to come in third, and libertarian Ron Paul took 12 percent of the straw poll, which was conducted online during the three-day conference.
(Reporting By Steve Holland)