Budget Smarts or Populist Message? CPACers Mull 2016

Keara Vickers, campus coordinator for Students for Liberty, is a registered Libertarian. Vickers said she was leaning toward casting her straw poll ballot for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Both Rubio and Paul spoke on Thursday to a crowd very responsive to the messages from both of the senators. Rubio maintained during his speech on Thursday that the party does not need any new ideas while Paul called for change, saying “the GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered.”

Ryan, however, did not offer his opinion on the future direction of the GOP when he spoke at CPAC on Friday and he did not hint at a potential run in 2016.

Other participants would like to see new faces on the ballot. Barbara Marshall of Richmond, Va., thinks Dr. Ben Carson would be a good candidate.

Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, spoke Saturday morning and hinted at the possibility of running for office.

Paul won the poll with 25 percent of the vote, with Rubio coming in a close second at 23 percent.

Runners up were former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) with 8 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) with 7 percent, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) at 6 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) at 5 percent, pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) with 4 percent each, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 3 percent each.