The latest on the presidential horse race.

Rand Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll by Wide Margin

CPAC, 3/8

  • Paul: 31
  • Cruz: 11
  • Carson: 9
  • Christie: 8
  • Walker: 7
  • Santorum: 7
  • Rubio: 6
  • Ryan: 3
  • Perry: 3
  • Huckabee: 2
  • Palin: 2
  • Jindal: 2
  • Rice: 2

Last week, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was held in National Harbor, Maryland and the event concluded with the annual CPAC Straw Poll. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul won the poll for the second year in a row, finishing 20 points ahead of second place finisher Ted Cruz.

The poll, conducted on March 8, sampling 2,459 “conservatives”, found that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul leads among the Republican base with 31 percent of the vote. In 2013, Paul won the straw poll with 25 percent of the vote but finished just two points ahead of Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Mitt Romney won the straw poll in 2012, en route to becoming the Republican nominee. At the same time, Romney also won the poll in 2008 and lost the nomination battle to John McCain.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz finished a distant second, receiving 11 percent of the vote. In 2013, Cruz finished with just 4 percent.

Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a Maryland native and a rare African-American conservative, finished third with 9 percent. In 2013, Carson tied Cruz with 4 percent.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, considered too moderate for the crowd a CPAC, finished fourth with 8 percent of the vote. Last year he received 7 percent but was not invited to speak at the event.

Finishing behind Christie were Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum with 7 percent apiece. In 2013, Santorum finished third with 8 percent while Walker finished sixth with 5 percent.

Marco Rubio fell hard after finishing a close second in 2013. Rubio received just 6 percent of the vote after seeing 23 percent last year.

Texas Governor Rick Perry and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan finished behind him with 3 percent. Last year, Ryan finished with 6 percent.

Coming in last with 2 percent apiece were former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The poll doesn’t represent the Republican party but it certainly gives you a good idea of where the conservative base stands heading toward 2016.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)