Ted Cruz Wins Big in Texas GOP Straw Poll

Sunday, 08 Jun 2014 09:03 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Texas conservative Republicans voted overwhelmingly for their home state junior senator, Ted Cruz, in the state convention straw poll, Politico reported.

Cruz captured 43.4 percent of the votes in a contest that included over a dozen potential presidential candidates. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson came in second with 12.2 percent edging out Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul who garnered 12.1 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry pulled 11.7 percent of the ballots.

Some 7,000 attendees took part in the convention held over the weekend in Fort Worth with 5,266 surveyed in the poll.

Cruz, Perry, and Paul delivered speeches to the meeting. Carson did not make an appearance at the convention.

Urgent: Do you support Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination for President? Vote Now

The Texas senator was by far the favorite of the delegates and of audiences at several events organized on the sidelines of the convention, according to Politico. Repeatedly introduced as "the next president of the United States," his talks were broken up by chants of "Run, Ted, run!"

Cruz also had the largest, most elaborate, and most popular booth at the convention. The exhibit, made up to look like a country living room, had a saddle and a huge Lone Star State flag. There were long lines of conventioneers waiting to be photographed with Cruz.

Dan Patrick, GOP candidate for Texas lieutenant governor, described Cruz as "the most popular politician in Texas" because he was "a guy who's willing to take an arrow and stand up for the people. That fires people up."

Speaking to reporters about the 2016 presidential race Cruz said, "I hope we see leaders who are willing to suffer the scorn of Washington. I will say this: Any candidate who is embraced by Washington, D.C., my advice to the people is, run and hide, 'cause that ain't how we're turning this country around."

In his keynote to a Defense of Texas Marriage event over the weekend Cruz declared, "I tell you this: as good as 2014 is gonna be, 2016 is gonna be even better."

Paul was enthusiastically received at a gathering of libertarian supporters on the sidelines of the convention. Though his father is former Texas congressman Ron Paul and the Kentucky senator went to Baylor University in Waco, he said at the outset that he didn't expect to win the straw poll against two Texans.

Perry spoke to the convention on Thursday evening but did not stay on. He said Democrats could forget about turning Texas from red to blue.

"We don't need to outsource the governor's office to Hollywood liberals. We don't need to cede control of the Capitol to Chicago operatives," Politico reported.

Among the others who drew support in the straw poll were former Florida governor Jeb Bush, 3.3 percent; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, 2.9 percent; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, 2.6 percent; Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, 2 percent; former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, 1.9 percent; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, 1.7 percent, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 1.3 percent, Breitbart reported.

Urgent: Do you support Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination for President? Vote Now

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