Sen. Ted Cruz Saturday won the Conservative Political Action Conference's straw pol
l of 2016 Republican presidential candidates — holding a 10-point lead over the second finisher, Marco Rubio.
Donald Trump, who snubbed the annual meeting of grass-roots conservatives on Friday to campaign in Kansas and Florida, placed third.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who quit the race for the nomination last month, won the straw poll for the last two years. Paul did not place in this year’s CPAC presidential results, but 9 percent of attendees voted for him as vice president.
Here are the results:
- Cruz: 40 percent.
- Rubio: 30 percent.
- Trump: 15 percent.
- John Kasich: 8 percent.
- Ben Carson: 2 percent.
After the results were announced, Cruz said on Twitter:
Trump's move spurred attacks that it raised questions about the front-runner's conservative credentials. He had been scheduled to speak on Saturday.
The remaining candidates spoke at the conference, held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington.
Carson officially suspended his run for the nomination on Friday but had said Wednesday that he was ending his campaign.
The CPAC results were announced by Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which sponsors the conference.
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