Results of the presidential-preference straw-vote poll at the Southern Republican Leadership Convention, held in Memphis at The Peabody this past weekend, March 9-12:

 BIll Frist -- 36.9%
Mitt Romney -- 14.4%
George Allen -- 10.3%
Pres. Bush (write-in) -- 10.3%
Sen. John McCain -- 4.6%
Gov. Mike Huckabee -- 3.8%
Other (write in) -- 3.0%
Gov. George Pataki -- 2.7%
Sec/State Condi Rice -- 2.2%
Sen. Sam Brownback -- 1.5%
Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- 1.1%
Rep. Newt Gingrich -- 0.9%
Sen. Chuck Hagel -- 0.2%

Totals ballots cast: 1427

A victory by Senator Frist, a Tennessean with much home-state support, was expected, and most advance speculation concerned the order and degree of support that runner-ups might earn.

The write-in vote for President Bush was orchestrated by supporters of Senator McCain, in an effort -- most observers assumed -- to minimize the prospect of a third-place finish or worst for McCain. Adding the two votes (Bush; McCain) together would have put McCain in second place with 14.9 percent.

The real surprise was the strong showing of Romney, a Northeasterner with a moderate position on social issues. It was generally credited to his strong speech to delegates on Friday.

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