Conservative firebrand Michele Bachmann finished second among likely GOP candidates in a straw poll at the Colorado Republican Party's Centennial Dinner on March 25.
The Centennial Dinner, an annual fundraising event hosted by the Colorado Republican Party, was attended by party officials, as well as activists and rank-and-file Republicans willing to pay for tickets, which cost between $50 and $1,500. This year's event featured a video tribute to outgoing GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams.
The Colorado Statesman reported on the event, which featured a straw poll of attendees' preferences in the 2012 Republican Presidential primaries.
The Statesman reported the following results:
1. Mitt Romney - 76 votes
2. Michele Bachmann - 38
votes 3. Tim Pawlenty - 34 votes
4. Mitch Daniels - 27 votes
5. Chris Christie - 26 votes
(tie) Donald Trump - 26 votes
7. Sarah Palin - 20 votes
8. Newt Gingrich - 19 votes
9. Herman Cain - 14 votes
10. Mike Huckabee - 12 votes
Romney overwhelmingly won the Colorado Caucuses in 2008.
Voters in the poll weren't given names to choose from, but were rather handed a blank piece of paper to write in their favored prospective candidate. The Statesman notes that not all of the attendees took the straw poll seriously, and some wrote in unrealistic candidates.
Nonetheless, as the Statesman notes, the straw poll was the "first officially-sanctioned ranking of [the] strength" of potential GOP candidates.
A Rasmussen poll (PDF) from February showed Romney as the party's strongest candidate in a hypothetical general election matchup against President Obama in Colorado. Romney, however, was still losing 41-47.