OXON HILL (CBSMiami/AP) — For the third straight year, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has won the Conservative Political Action Conference’s annual presidential preference straw poll.READ MORE: Florida Records Highest One-Day Total Of COVID Cases With 21,000
Pollsters announced Saturday that Paul won 26 percent of the votes in the annual survey. However, that is a five percent drop off from his 31 percent in 2014.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in second, with 21 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz came in third in the contest with 11.5 percent, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 11.4 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 8.3 percent. All of the other names listed received under 5 percent, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 3.7 percent.READ MORE: Hundreds Attend 'Down With The Chains' Rally At Bayfront Park For Freedom For Cuba, Venezuela & Nicaragua
The three-day CPAC conference in suburban Washington draws many libertarian-leaning college students whose views and priorities differ significantly from the Republican Party at large. But it is nonetheless seen as a barometer of certain conservative activists’ early leanings.
Pollsters said just over 3,000 attendees voted. Nearly half identified as between the ages of 18 and 25.MORE NEWS: Royal Caribbean Expands COVID Testing Requirements
Respondents said economic issues, like jobs and taxes, were most important to them in deciding whom to support as the Republican nominee for president in 2016.