For the second year in a row, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) won the straw poll of attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Paul secured 31 percent of the vote.
“The fight for liberty continues, and we must continue to stand up and say: We’re free and no one, no matter how well-intentioned, will take our freedoms from us,” Paul said in a statement. “Together we will stand up for the Constitution. Together we will fight for what is right.”
The annual poll asked CPAC attendees who they would vote for as the Republican nominee for president in 2016. A total of 2,459 votes were cast over the three-day conference; 46 percent of those surveyed were between the ages of 18-25.
The final results:
- Senator Rand Paul (KY): 31%
- Senator Ted Cruz (TX): 11%
- Neurosurgeon Ben Carson: 9%
- Governor Chris Christie (NJ): 8%
- Governor Scott Walker (WI): 7%
- Former Senator Rick Santorum (PA): 7%
- Senator Marco Rubio (FL): 6%
- Congressman Paul Ryan (WI): 3%
- Governor Rick Perry (TX): 3%
- Governor Bobby Jindal (LA): 2%
- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: 2%
- Former Governor Mike Huckabee (AR): 2%
- Former Governor Sarah Palin (AK): 2%
- Other: 9%
- Undecided: 1%
Paul improved on his performance last year, when he received 25 percent of the vote at CPAC 2013. His father, former Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), won the CPAC straw poll in 2010 and 2011.
Rubio, who placed second last year with 23 percent, dropped to seventh. Last year, Cruz and Carson finished in seventh with 4 percent.
Other notable results included:
- 98 percent said they disapproved of President Obama’s job performance, an increase of two percentage points from last year.
- Of those surveyed, 51 percent disapprove of Republicans in Congress — the first time in three years that disapproval runs higher than approval. Last year, 44 percent disapproved of Republicans’ job performance.
- When it comes to the United States’ role in the world, 52 percent said “it’s time for our
European, Asian and other allies to provide for their own defense.”
- 41 percent want marijuana to be legalized for recreational and medical use and taxed.
- 78 percent of respondents said their most important goal was to “promote individual freedom by reducing the size and scope of government and its intrusion into the lives of its citizens.”