Marco Rubio Made It Close, but Rand Paul Wins 2013 CPAC Straw Poll
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Marco Rubio nearly pulled it off, but the winner of the presidential preference-for-2016 straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference this year is Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who spoke to CPAC Friday night, asked that his name not be included on this year’s straw poll ballot.
Paul commanded 25 percent of straw poll voters, but Rubio was right behind him with 23 percent, according to the results of the poll announced Saturday night and reported by ABC News. Rand and Rubio remain tea party favorites.
The rest of the Republicans on the straw poll ballot fell far behind the Rand and Rubio double digits. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who tried but failed to win the Republican nomination in 2012, finished third with 8 percent of the vote; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was fourth with 7 percent, followed by last year’s vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, with 6 percent.
The non-scientific straw poll of preference measured the responses of 2,930 of the attendees at the three-day annual conference that took place outside Washington, D.C. Some 52 percent of those who participated were between the ages of 18 and 25.
Paul’s win comes a little over a week since his attention-getting, 13-hour filibuster of CIA director nominee John Brennan. And it was clear at the gathering this week that Paul was a crowd favorite.
“Now I was told I only get 10 measly minutes. But just in case I brought 13 hours of information,” Paul joked as he opened his remarks to the conference on Thursday.
Mary Powers, 26, of Arlington, Va., told USA Today that she voted for Rubio because she likes his position on immigration. "That's what's really needed -- a young conservative who is new in Washington, who can unite the conservatives and the Republicans and reach across the aisle.''
She also said she liked the way Rubio handled his awkward moment taking a drink of water during his State of the Union response, which he has since joked about repeatedly. "The way he's spun that is just so awesome," she said.
Mitt Romney won the CPAC straw poll in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Ron Paul won in 2010 and 2011. Romney won again in 2012. This year’s poll was sponsored by The Washington Times and conducted by the GOP firm, Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates.
Here is ABC's rundown of the top 2013 CPAC straw poll finishers:
- Ky. Sen. Rand Paul — 25 percent
- Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio — 23 percent
- Other/Write-in — 14 percent
- Former Pa. Sen. Rick Santorum — 8 percent
- N.J. Gov. Chris Christie — 7 percent
- Wis. Congressman Paul Ryan — 6 percent
- Wis. Gov. Scott Walker — 5 percent
- Neurosurgeon Ben Carson — 4 percent
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — 4 percent
- La. Gov. Bobby Jindal — 3 percent
- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — 3 percent
- Undecided — 1 percent
2013 CPAC Presidential Straw Poll ballot:
- N.H. Sen. Kelly Ayotte
- Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer
- Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- Neurosurgeon Ben Carson
- N.J. Gov. Chris Christie
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
- Former Ind. Gov. Mitch Daniels
- S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley
- La. Gov. Bobby Jindal
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich
- N.M. Gov. Susana Martinez
- Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell
- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
- Ky. Sen. Rand Paul
- Ind. Gov. Mike Pence
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry
- Ohio Sen. Rob Portman
- Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio
- Wis. Congressman Paul Ryan
- Former Pa. Sen. Rick Santorum
- S.C. Sen. Tim Scott
- S.D. Sen. John Thune
- Wis. Gov. Scott Walker