Nightly News | February 12, 2012
>>> to presidential politics now. a day after mitt romney 's victory in the maine caucuses, his rivals are sharpening their attacks against him. rick santorum even suggesting a straw poll of conservatives may have been rigged in order for romney to win. we get more now from nbc's ron allen .
>> reporter: with a victory in maine , and a top finish in a straw poll of conservative activists, mitt romney hopes these wins will get his campaign back on track to the nomination.
>> i know conservatism because i have lived conservatism.
>> reporter: but as romney took a day off at his home in southern california , his rivals were warning, not so fast.
>> i wished all the caucus had met today.
>> reporter: ron paul who barely lost in maine too romney questioned whether romney really won at all. especially since some republicans couldn't vote because of bad weather .
>> we won -- we lost by, i guess, almost 200 votes, 190 votes. it is almost like we could call it a tie.
>> reporter: today on cnn, rick santorum who seemed to have momentum after three wins in a row, insinuated that romney rigged the cpac straw poll . santorum lost by seven points.
>> you have to talk to the romney campaign and how many tickets they bought. we heard all sorts of things.
>> reporter: ' accused the romney campaign of filling the hall with supporters, by buying them tickets. a romney spokeswoman fired back, rick santorum has a history of making statements that aren't grounded in the truth. and if romney hoped to silence the doubters, who say he can't rally the gop 's base, there was this today from sarah palin .
>> i don't think that the majority of gop and independent voters are convinced and that's why you don't see romney get over that hump.
>> the problem is when romney has come out on top, he has not yet won a clear majority in any contest. one big reason all the gop contenders are staying in the race. ron allen , nbc news, new york.