Rand Paul came out swinging during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), winning the events recent straw poll. This was the senator’s third consecutive win at CPAC. More than 3,000 activists voted in the straw poll, taken Thursday through Saturday at the conference, which was held in Maryland. Sen. Rand Paul might have won this weekend’s CPAC presidential poll, but the real battle is still waging between Paul and the man who finished second at CPAC.
Senator Rand Paul said that CPAC would be “kind of a difficult crowd” for “moderates” like Jeb Bush on Wednesday’s “Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel. True to Paul’s prediction, pollsters announced Saturday that Paul won 25.7 percent of the votes in the annual survey. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in an extremely close second, with 21.4 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz came in third in the contest with 11.5 percent, followed by Ben Carson with 11.4 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 8.3 percent. While the Paul camp is happy with the results, the small 3000 person sample in no way ends the discussion of who will be the next Republican candidate for President.
History suggests Mr. Paul is unlikely to be the GOP candidate come 2016. The CPAC straw poll winner a year out from the primaries has never gone on to be the party’s nominee. Many of the other candidates also have had boosts to their polling numbers since CPAC. Scott Walker, who had finished 6th last year, has been surging in almost every other political poll available. Even Jeb Bush, despite finishing last, has had an increase in popularity since the CPAC event. Anyway someone wants to interpret the results of CPAC, we have a long way to go before a GOP candidate is announced.