Senator Rand Paul wins a straw poll of conservative activists, giving his potential bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 a boost. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S Senator Rand Paul won a straw poll of conservative activists on Saturday (February 28), giving his potential bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 a boost, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came in second in a surprising show of strength. Whether the victory for Paul will have long-lasting benefit is unclear since his libertarian views may not have broad appeal in the Republican Party. Paul, a 52-year-old Kentucky Republican, outdistanced most other potential candidates by taking 25.7 percent of the vote at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a gathering of activists on Washington's outskirts of Washington. The straw poll concluded the four-day conference at a hotel along the Potomac River, where conservatives heard from more than a dozen potential contenders for the chance to represent the Republican Party in the November 2016 election. Walker, 47, was clearly among the most popular at the event. But Paul had a strong showing from activists, and his victory in the straw poll marked the third year in a row in which he came out on top, dominating the event just as his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, had. The CPAC straw poll, however, does not necessarily identify the next Republican presidential nominee. Mitt Romney won the straw poll in 2012 and went on to win the nomination. But the 2008 nominee, John McCain did not win the poll. The poll also asked respondents about other issues, with 41 percent saying they would like to legalize marijuana.