CPAC Diary: Rand Paul Wins the Presidential Straw Poll, as 70% of Attendees Say They Oppose Drones

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 16 2013 5:49 PM

CPAC Diary: Rand Paul Wins the Presidential Straw Poll, as 70% of Attendees Say They Oppose Drones

Three years before the Iowa caucuses, the CPAC presidential straw poll might have one or few flaws as a predictor of the next GOP nominee. Mitt Romney, who regularly won it, never became president. Ron Paul, who alternated his wins wiith Romney's, never won the nod. But the media is addicted to presidential politics with a narcotic fervor unseen since Heather Graham's scenes in Drugstore Cowboy. And here's the straw poll:

Rand Paul - 25%
Marco Rubio - 23%
Other - 14%
Rick Santorum - 8%
Chris Christie - 7%
Paul Ryan - 6%
Scott Walker - 5%
Ben Carson - 4%
Ted Cruz - 4%
Bobby Jindal -3%
Sarah Palin - 3%

All of these candidates spoke at CPAC, save Christie, who wasn't invited. Of them, only Paul and Santorum ran anything that looked like straw poll campaigns. Santorum's Patriot Voices PAC packed Friday with events and availabilites. Paul didn't make himself as available, but Young Americans for Liberty, his father's organization, distributed 1000 T-shirts and signs with the "STAND WITH RAND" slogan and a silouette of the senator. I'm not convinced he even needed the push, because in no time at all, the youngish, libertarian-ish CPAC attendee pool had adopted Paul's drone stance. From the poll:

Screen shot 2013-03-16 at 6.00.48 PM

And they were pretty sold on his foreign policy.

Screen shot 2013-03-16 at 6.16.10 PM

That's a libertarian, Old Right leaning base -- you'd expect the Paul vote to be higher, even. Unless the average CPAC voter wants Paul to keep rewiring the party, and someone with more obvious cross-party appeal to lead it.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories to the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
Quora
Oct. 22 2014 9:51 AM What Was It Like to Work at NASA During the Challenger and Columbia Disasters?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 9:54 AM The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here I feel like a kid in some kind of store.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 8:43 AM Thunderstruck: Rock Out With Mother Nature’s Evil Side
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 9:39 AM Gertjie and Lammie, a Magical (and Bizarre) Friendship
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.