Rand Paul wins the latest meaningless CPAC straw poll for President

Sen. Rand Paul, winner of the meaningless CPAC straw poll (Reuters)

Sen. Rand Paul, winner of the meaningless CPAC straw poll (Reuters)

Right-wingers at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference found a new lost cause to support Saturday, backing Kentucky Senantor Rand Paul in a straw poll for President.

Paul rises to the mantle of his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a frequent winner of the CPAC straw poll, who ran for President three times but ever came close to winning.

Rand Raul’s win was hardly a landslide.  He captured just 25 percent of the vote in a crowded field that saw Florida Sen. Marco Rubio come in a close second, followed by another failed Presidential candidate — Pennsylvania’s Rick Santorum — finish third and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fourth.

The CPAC straw poll is viewed by most political followers as a bombastic, but unreliable vote by party extremists.  CPAC attendees are often younger-than-average Republican voters and tend to be more libertarian than party leaders.  More than half the voters in the straw poll were between 18 and 25.

This year’s straw poll ballot contained 23 names.   Winners seldom even come close to capturing the party’s nomination for President.  Rand Paul is often ridiculed by the GOP colleagues.  Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP nominee for President in 2008, calls the Kentucky Senator “a wacko bird.”

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