Rand Paul won CPAC’s 2014 Washington Times presidential straw poll with 31 percent of the vote, organizers announced as the premier conservative confab neared its close Saturday evening. Ted Cruz came in second with 11 percent Ben Carson came in third with 9.
42 percent of the voting pool were students; almost half were aged 18 to 25; 63 percent were male. 52 percent agreed that it was "time for our allies to stand up and fight for their own defenses"; 78 percent disapproved of NSA monitoring of e-mails and phone calls. A plurality supported legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
Rand Paul won last year’s CPAC straw poll. The past decade’s winners include Mitt Romney (2012, 2009, 2008, and 2007); Ron Paul (2011 and 2010); George Allen (2006); and Rudy Giuliani (2005).
Salon’s Elias Isquith reported that Paul’s Friday afternoon address, which slammed Obama and extolled the Fourth Amendment, drew “the largest crowd, the biggest cheers, and the longest standing ovation of the convention thus far…” Citing Pink Floyd as well as James Madison, the Senator told the crowd, “To those who had hoped President Obama would somehow be a champion of civil liberties, Roger Waters might ask, ‘Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? Did they get you to exchange a walk-on part in the war for the lead-role in the cage?”