Ted Cruz and Ben Carson top picks in Value Voters presidential straw poll
Tea Party Republican Ted Cruz walked away from this weekend’s Value Voters summit as the first choice in the conservative conclave’s annual presidential straw poll, according to the Washington Post.
The Texas senator, known more for his rhetorical bomb-throwing than for legislative accomplishments, received 25 percent of the vote, down from the 42 percent he received in 2013.
Retired neurosurgeon and Tea Party favorite Dr. Ben Carson, came in second with 20 percent of the vote, while former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was third with 12 percent. Perennial presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, was fourth with 10 percent, followed by fifth place finisher, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, with 7 percent.
Rand Paul, considered by many to be a leading contender for the 2016 nomination, trailed in sixth place demonstrating a lack of enthusiasm for the libertarian-leaning senator by the 2,000 mostly evangelical attendees interested mostly in religious and social issues.
Carson, a regular fixture on conservative talk shows who has never held public office, was the first choice by voters for the vice presidential slot.
The Value Voters conference, hosted by the the conservative Family Research Council, began holding presidential straw polls in 2007. Previous winners have included, Cruz, Huckabee, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, and Rand Paul’s father, former congressman Ron Paul.
Ron Paul’s win in 2011 was dismissed by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins after he accused Paul of busing in over 600 voters.
To date, no Value Voters straw poll winner has been elected president, with only Romney receiving the GOP nod in 2012.
Romney lost to incumbent President Barack Obama, winning only 206 electoral college votes to Obama’s 332.
The former Massachusetts governor, who did not speak at the conference, is rumored to be considering another run.