Well, there it is: As the Washington Times reported a few minutes before the official announcement, Rand Paul has won the 2014 CPAC straw poll. It’s not a huge surprise — since 2010, Mitt Romney is the only winner whose last name hasn’t been Paul (congressman Ron Paul won in 2010 and 2011).
This is Senator Paul’s second win in a row. He won with 31 percent of the vote, with Senator Ted Cruz taking 11 percent. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and Fox News contributor who’s been named as a potential 2016 dark-horse candidate, came in third with 9 percent of the vote.
Senator Marco Rubio dropped precipitously from last year, going from second place and 23 percent of the vote to seventh place and 6 percent this year.
The poll was first held in 1976, and winners have included Rudy Giuliani, Ronald Reagan, and Mitt Romney. There were 25 potential candidates on the list this year.