National Harbor, Md. — Kentucky Senator Rand Paul won the straw poll at Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday, offering a snapshot glimpse of how the 2016 presidential race is shaping up three years out from the election.
Paul’s win is perhaps unsurprising, given the strong showing of libertarians and young Paul supporters at this year’s conservative confab. Paul’s father, Ron Paul, was also a favourite in past CPAC straw polls — he won the survey in 2010 and 2011 — prompting some conservatives to argue that the balloting is rigged.
To be sure, the CPAC straw poll has never been a good predictor for the Republican presidential nomination. Besides Paul, other past winners include Rudy Guiliani, Steve Forbes, and Jack Kemp — all of whom performed terribly in the GOP primaries.
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