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Rand Paul wins conservative straw poll

Michael Keating

Kentucky's junior senator, Rand Paul, was the narrow favorite for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in a straw poll this weekend of over 3,000 conservative activists from around the country.

CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Committee) held a three-day gathering in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C.; and participants voted online for who they would like to see carry the presidential banner for the GOP in 2016.

Paul, a freshman senator who gained applause from conservatives nationwide recently for his filibuster on the nomination of of John Brennan as CIA director, won 25 percent of the vote, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 23 percent.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination last year, was third with eight percent and New Jersey governor Chris Christie took fourth place with seven percent.

According to the Associated Press more than half of those who voted were under the age of 26.

Paul has not ruled out a run for the presidency in 2016, but that would also be the year his Senate seat is up for election; and he would have to decide between one or the other, unless Kentucky election law is changed.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.