From NBC's Mark Murray
NEW ORLEANS -- Mitt Romney isn't speaking here at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, but some of his supporters are trying to give him a lift in the straw poll voting.
A group called "Evangelicals for Mitt" has taken out an advertisement in the official SRLC program, urging attendees to vote for him in the straw poll.
"The economy is a moral issue," the print ad states. "We're in a financial mess. Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who knew how to lead without breaking the bank?"
The ad continues, "In 2012, we don't have to choose between moral values and economic expertise. Mitt Romney has it all."
It concludes, "So vote for Mitt and use the SRLC straw poll to let him know -- even though he's a Yankee, Southerners love him... He's pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and the guy knows how to balance a checkbook."