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Romney Wins N.H. Straw Poll

Romney Wins N.H. Straw Poll

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Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who placed second in the 2008 New Hampshire primary to Arizona senator John McCain, has won the first straw poll of state GOP voters for the 2012 presidential election.

Romney garnered 35% of the vote in a poll of 273 Republican voters at an annual New Hampshire GOP meeting, the Los Angeles Timesreports. Romney was followed by Texas representative Ron Paul with 11% of the vote and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty with 8%. Sarah Palin finished fourth with 7% of the vote.

In October, Romney sidestepped questions about sexual orientation and marriage equality during an appearance in Salt Lake City that came just days after Boyd K. Packer, an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, proclaimed homosexuality to be "impure and unnatural" and said that same-sex attraction can be changed.

Romney said that he supported "the rights of gay individuals." At the same time, however, he approved limiting marriage rights to heterosexual couples.

"I fully support the rights of gay individuals to choose their course in life, their careers in life, to have civil rights that are consistent with other citizens of the nation," Romney said in October. "As you know, I support traditional marriage. I believe that it is in the best interest of society, and at the same time I fully support the rights of gay individuals and homosexuals."

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