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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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March 8, 2014 - 3:06 pm

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) won the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for the second year in a row with 31 percent of the vote.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) came in second with 11 percent support, neurosurgeon Ben Carson got 9 percent, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who spoke at the conference on its opening day, had 8 percent.

Tying with 7 percent each were Gov. Scott Walker and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). Walker did not attend the conference but his name was often invoked by speakers. Santorum seemed to be laying the groundwork for another run by accusing Republicans of capitulating on family values.

With 25 candidates on the list and a “slew” of write-ins — including for Calvin Coolidge — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) got 6 percent support.

“I am grateful to all the attendees who stood with me. 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 released by his PAC after the vote. “Together we will stand up for the Constitution. Together we will fight for what is right. Thank you and onwards to victory.”

President Obama got a 98 percent disapproval rating, while Republicans in Congress got a 51 percent disapproval rating.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said their ideology was driven by promoting “individual freedom by reducing the size and scope of government and its intrusion into the lives of its citizens.” Just 12 percent picked opposition of gay marriage and abortion as the most important issue while seven percent chose national security.

CPACers were also asked how they felt about NSA collection of telephone metadata — 78 percent disapproved — and marijuana legalization, which was favored for both recreational and medical use by 41 percent.

Slightly more ballots were cast this year than last, with 2,459 votes cast. Forty-six percent of voters were from ages 18-25, and 42 percent of the voters were students. Sixty-three percent were male.

The Senate Conservatives Fund simultaneously released its own straw poll, saying in a release that it drew more than 41,000 votes online from its members “who could not attend” CPAC.

Cruz got 42 percent, Paul came in a distant second with 17 percent, and Walker got 10 percent.

“The results of the SCF presidential straw poll are unique because they reflect the views of a large group of conservatives across the country,” said SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins. “Our poll shows that Ted Cruz is currently the conservative favorite for president in 2016.”

The SCF was founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), now president of the Heritage Foundation. The PAC has been going after Senate incumbents, particularly Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

Rubio, who was supported by the SCF in his 2010 Senate run, got just 2.5 percent. Santorum got less than 1 percent.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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Just a hunch. Foreign policy will play a much bigger role in the 2016 election than it did in either '08 or '12. That will impact Mr. Paul's campaign perhaps in a non-favorable way.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I may mention that poll on Drudge again, which I believe is still open, Paul and Cruz are easily the winners. Third is an undefined "Other". The rest of the field including Jeb Bush, Crispy, Ryan and the rest are pulling fewer votes than that undefined "Other". I realize this is not scientific, but along with the CPAC poll, a trend seems to be emerging.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I back only Carson. The other 3 are idiots.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rand Paul is in favor of more "skilled immigrants". This hurts me, hurts America, but most of all is so out of sync with the actual situation and facts, it makes me wonder if he's faking the whole thing. I've heard a couple of other clinkers from Rand.

I have yet to hear any equal stupidity from Cruz. More positively, I like virtually everything I've heard from Cruz, and I like his style.

The "skilled immigrant" (aka H-1B) issue is very nearly a litmus test for whether I can support a candidate to the extent of voting for him - though to try to vote non-Democratic in California is to spit in the wind anyway.

I seriously believe the Democratic ticket will be Hillary/Christie, the "unification ticket". I will consider any Republican ticket as an alternative, but if even the Republicans want to hurt me further, and especially if the Democrats would even *say* they are against more "skilled immigrants" on any basis at all, well, I just dunno.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
While I would prefer a conservative governor to take the primaries, I'd vote for Cruz or Rand Paul. (I have my disagreements on Paul's foreign policy but compared to Krispy Creme)..... Christie is a flaming RINO and the only people who call him conservative are Crony's, MSM apparatchiks, false flaggers, and left wing trolls.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I also like Cruz and I respect Paul but again, Paul's foreign policy, at least as it is defined now, will work against him in 2016, especially if the geopolitical situation continues on it's present course.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's the ticket.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cruz/Paul or Paul/Cruz?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Drudge has a poll up and Paul is winning, followed closely by Cruz. Both are about 30%. I believe all the others are in single digits. I think Crispy has about 5%
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
How can Crispy get 8% at a conference of conservatives? It must have been held in Colorado.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ted Cruise has been on National TV. Rand Paul apparently gave a hugely-well-received speech(es?) at CPAC. Hard to say which poll is more accurate. Rand Paul would need more national exposure to properly compare him to Ted Cruz.

But he should avoid national attention for a year or more to play this right. So frankly I don't think we can know for now.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
OK, who the heck are those 2% who don't disapprove of Dear Liar?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Probably "Let It Burn" types who want him to hasten the burning.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Probably the people who wrote in "Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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