Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, has won the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll on Saturday with 31 percent of the votes cast going to him. Rand Paul is a repeat winner as he won last year as well, according to a Huffington Post report on Saturday. Last year, however, he had 25 percent which gives him a bigger lead among the Republican competition now. Winning the straw poll boosts him up before the midterm elections that are coming this November as well as before the 2016 presidential election.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, came in a distant second place with 11 percent of the vote. While small numbers in comparison to Paul, it is a huge increase for Cruz over last year when he only got 4 percent.
Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon, earned third place with 0 percent of the vote while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came in fourth with 8 percent.
This year, CPAC voters has expressed a disapproval of the Republicans in Congress with polling results showing that 51 percent disapprove of the job the GOP is doing in the nation’s capital. By comparison, last year the GOP had a 54 percent approval rating. Two years ago, they had a 70 percept approval rating by the same measure.
No doubt, the past few months - when conservative activists across the United States have seen Republicans in Washington join President Obama in increasing spending and raising the nation’s debt – the nation’s GOP leadership approval rating has dropped. One sign of such discontent is that Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan, who was Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012, saw his numbers fall from 6 percent last year to only 3 percent at this time. Another sign is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who fell from second place with 23 percent last year to seventh place with just 6 percent this year.
At this year’s CPAC, 25 potential candidates were on the list – which is much more than usual. This is a signal as to how open the GOP field is for the presidential election more than 2 years away. The 2014 CPAC straw poll was held from Thursday through Saturday afternoon in which 2,459 votes were placed.
2014 CPAC Straw Poll Results
(Percent of votes) (Name)
- 31% - Sen. Rand Paul
- 11 % - Sen. Ted Cruz
- 9 % - Ben Carson
- 8% - Gov. Chris Christie
- 7% - Rick Santorum (former senator)
- 7% - Gov. Scott Walker
- 6% - Sen. Marco Rubio
- 3% - Gov. Rick Perry
- 3% - Rep. Paul Ryan
- 2% - Mike Huckabee (former governor)
- 2% - Gov. Bobby Jindal
- 2% - Sarah Palin (former governor)
- 2% - Condoleezza Rice (former Sec. of State)
- 1% - Mitch Daniels (former governor)
- 1% - Gov. John Kasich
- 1% - Gov. Mike Pence
- 1% - Sen. Rob Portman
- 1% - Sen. John Thune
- 1% - Donald Trump
- 1% - Allen West (former representative)
- X – Sen. Kelly Ayottee
- X – Gov. Sam Brownback
- X - Gov. Nikki Haley
- X – Gov. Susana Martinez
- X – Sen. Tim Scott
With the exception of Carson and Trump, all have or have had government positions.