WASHINGTON - Conservatives are wary of presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, a leading GOP pollster said.
Pollster Tony Fabrizio said if the Arizona senator is the Republican nominee, about 30 percent of conservative activists will not support him, The Washington Times reported Sunday.
A straw poll 1,558 of those attending the Conservative Political Action Conference last week indicated McCain continues to lack the backing to conservative activists.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a favorite among conservatives, had 44 percent support among those who filled out the straw poll before they knew of the Romney withdrawal from the GOP race Thursday. McCain drew the support of 27 percent, while former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had 12 percent and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas had 10 percent.
Those who filled out the poll questions after knowing of Romney's withdrawal still gave him 32 percent support, and 37 percent said they backed McCain. Huckabee and Paul both had 12 percent support.
Larry Eastland -- a Southern California businessman who was once chairman of the Republican Party in Connecticut and later in Idaho -- told the newspaper, "McCain is aware that the conservative movement will hold him to a standard that he has not yet lived up to."
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