Rand Paul tops Scott Walker to win CPAC poll

Senator Rand Paul won the CPAC straw poll for the third year in a row, but Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker showed surprising strength.

Reuters:

"The constitutional conservatives of our party have spoken in a loud and clear voice today," Paul said in a statement. " I plan on doing my part and I hope you will join me as I continue to make the GOP a bigger, better and bolder party."

Walker's second-place showing at 21.4 percent represented a significant show of support among conservatives and suggested his potential candidacy will have real staying power as he seeks to remain among the front-runners for the nomination.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz came in third with 11.5 percent of a total of 3,007 who registered votes at the CPAC gathering.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, an establishment candidate who is amassing millions of dollars for a campaign should he decide to run, took fifth place with 8.3 percent of the vote, a not-unexpected showing given conservative opposition to some of his moderate stances.

Boos rang out in the audience when Bush's tally was announced. The Bush camp made clear that he did not compete in the straw poll, which is a survey of people attending the conference.

The straw poll concluded the four-day conference at a hotel along the Potomac River, where conservatives heard from more than a dozen potential contenders for the chance to represent the Republican Party in the November 2016 election.

Senator Paul's father Ron Paul was a consistent winner of the poll when he was running for president in 2008 and 2012, but was never able to turn his popularity at CPAC into votes in Republican primaries. Both father and son won at CPAC because of superior organization, but Ron Paul could never break out of the pack to translate that momentum into a broad based populist campaign.

Rand Paul has a chance to do that. He can offer himself as a clear alternative to both establishment candidates and other conservatives in the race. His libertarianism is more muted than his father's as he chooses to highlight his conservative credentials on fiscal matters as well as social issues. He will not be competitive in Iowa but he can win in New Hampshire, as he comes in third in a recent poll and his politics plays well in the state.

Senator Paul has the potential to break out and become the conservative alternative to Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. His base is far more committed than either the Bush or Walker base which will always give him a floor of support in the Republican party. Since the primaries are expected to be a long,drawn out affair, Paul will have the staying power to remain competitive where others will not.

Money may be a problem. His foreign policy positions might give him trouble. But there is no other conservative candidate with the potential to outlast the establishment candidates than Rand Paul.

 

Senator Rand Paul won the CPAC straw poll for the third year in a row, but Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker showed surprising strength.

Reuters:

"The constitutional conservatives of our party have spoken in a loud and clear voice today," Paul said in a statement. " I plan on doing my part and I hope you will join me as I continue to make the GOP a bigger, better and bolder party."

Walker's second-place showing at 21.4 percent represented a significant show of support among conservatives and suggested his potential candidacy will have real staying power as he seeks to remain among the front-runners for the nomination.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz came in third with 11.5 percent of a total of 3,007 who registered votes at the CPAC gathering.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, an establishment candidate who is amassing millions of dollars for a campaign should he decide to run, took fifth place with 8.3 percent of the vote, a not-unexpected showing given conservative opposition to some of his moderate stances.

Boos rang out in the audience when Bush's tally was announced. The Bush camp made clear that he did not compete in the straw poll, which is a survey of people attending the conference.

The straw poll concluded the four-day conference at a hotel along the Potomac River, where conservatives heard from more than a dozen potential contenders for the chance to represent the Republican Party in the November 2016 election.

Senator Paul's father Ron Paul was a consistent winner of the poll when he was running for president in 2008 and 2012, but was never able to turn his popularity at CPAC into votes in Republican primaries. Both father and son won at CPAC because of superior organization, but Ron Paul could never break out of the pack to translate that momentum into a broad based populist campaign.

Rand Paul has a chance to do that. He can offer himself as a clear alternative to both establishment candidates and other conservatives in the race. His libertarianism is more muted than his father's as he chooses to highlight his conservative credentials on fiscal matters as well as social issues. He will not be competitive in Iowa but he can win in New Hampshire, as he comes in third in a recent poll and his politics plays well in the state.

Senator Paul has the potential to break out and become the conservative alternative to Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. His base is far more committed than either the Bush or Walker base which will always give him a floor of support in the Republican party. Since the primaries are expected to be a long,drawn out affair, Paul will have the staying power to remain competitive where others will not.

Money may be a problem. His foreign policy positions might give him trouble. But there is no other conservative candidate with the potential to outlast the establishment candidates than Rand Paul.