It’s official. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is the winner of Washington State’s Republican presidential straw poll, a 13-point victory that does not award any of the Evergreen State’s 43 delegates, but that could send a strong psychological message to Super Tuesday’s voters.

Despite making two campaign swings through Washington, Santorum’s third-place finish behind Paul represents a major backslide from his recent lead in polls. His future in the race now depends more than ever on a strong performance in socially conservative Midwest states, but Romney’s five-state win streak seems to be creating momentum.

The first Rasmussen poll on the Tennessee primary was released today and now shows Santorum with a 4-point lead over Romney, while previous polls had shown him with a high double-digit lead. Rasmussen also finds Santorum with a slim 2-point advantage in the Ohio primary, a remarkable drop over the past two weeks from an 18-point lead.

The final count as reported by the Washington State Republican Party is as follows:

Candidate Votes Percentage
Mitt Romney 19,111 37.65%
Ron Paul 12,594 24.81%
Rick Santorum 12,089 23.81%
Newt Gingrich 5,221 10.28%
Undecided/Other 1,749 3.44%

Those results were released last night at close to 11:00 p.m., coming after county party officials and volunteers across the state spent a long day collating, reconciling, and counting the votes of more than 50,000 Republicans.

State Republican Party Chair Kirby Wilbur made the follow statement about the results:

“I am excited with the record turnout of Republican voters to the caucus. I predicted around 50,000 people would attend the caucus and we had 50,764 vote in the straw poll.

“Not only were these attendees excited to have a voice in the Republican nomination process, but they were sending a clear message that President Obama’s lack of economic recovery and disregard of the impact that his extremely high gas prices has on the average Washington working family, or non-working family because of his failed economic policies, will not be tolerated.”