Cruz, Carson Top Republican Presidential Straw Poll

tedcruzbencarsonSen. Ted Cruz narrowly beat Dr. Ben Carson in a straw poll of attendees at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans this week. The final tally was 30.33% for Cruz and 29.38% for Carson, who were trailed by Sen. Rand Paul (10.43%). Cruz was a speaker at the event, but Carson and Paul did not attend.

Cruz, a freshman Senator from Texas, has high support among conservatives and Tea Party activists. However, according to Real Clear Politics, Cruz runs behind Paul in national polls. Paul is currently tied with Mike Huckabee at 13 percent to lead all other contenders. Carson usually does not appear in those surveys, but the brain surgeon has reaped an enthusiastic following for his opposition to Obamacare.

According to CNN, “Cruz won the Values Voter summit’s presidential straw poll last fall, and came in second to Sen. Paul in this year’s straw poll at the big Conservative Political Action Conference.”

(CNN) – Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has won another straw poll, boosting his national profile and elevating his name among potential 2016 presidential contenders.

The firebrand freshman senator and tea party favorite was among a handful of 2016 hopefuls speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans this week.

Cruz finished in first place in the annual conference’s presidential straw poll at 30.33%. Dr. Ben Carson, a Fox News commentator and conservative activist, finished in second with 29.38% while Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, was third with 10.43%.

Fox News host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Texas Governor Rick Perry rounded out the top five, at 5.06% and 4.90%, respectively.

Neither Carson nor Paul spoke at the conference, but their support was a show of confidence by the traditionally more conservative crowd. The annual meeting of activists features of who’s who of big-name Republican politicians. It is an important appearance for potential presidential candidates to make.

More moderate Republicans also skipped the conference, but many fared much worse in the straw poll. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came in dead last with 1.11% while Florida’s former Gov. Jeb Bush and current Sen. Marco Rubio and came in seventh and eighth at 4.42% and 3.32 %, respectively.

Cruz has not indicated that he is weighing a run for the presidency in 2016, but his fearlessness on the national stage and strong support among the Republican base has garnered speculation about his potential candidacy.

Read more in CNN’s report.

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