Rand Paul Trounces Competition in College Fix Presidential Straw Poll

by Jennifer Kabbany - Fix Editor on March 11, 2014

Rand Paul emerged as the clear winner in a mini-straw poll of millennials who attended the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. last weekend.

In fact, Paul didn’t just top the list, he landed far above the rest of the 2016 presidential hopefuls cited by Republican and libertarian college students who attended the convention.

Of the 55 college students polled, 17 of them – nearly 31 percent – pulled the lever for Paul. The second closest contender was Chris Christie, who garnered 9 votes. In third place was Ben Carson with six votes.

The rest of the results are:

Ted Cruz – 5

Scott Walker – 4

Undecided – 3

Bobby Jindal – 3

Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum – they each got 2 votes

Susana Martinez and Paul Ryan – they each got 1 vote

The results were culled by two College Fix student reporters who attended the event and asked peers who they want to see win the Republican presidential nomination.

“I think Rand Paul is very relatable to the youth,” said University of Missouri College Republican Courtney Scott, one of the two reporters who obtained the results. “He comes across as less uptight and more in touch with young voters.”

Scott said Paul’s push to champion personal liberty, defend privacy rights, and call for strong fiscal conservative policies resonated with the students she interviewed.

The results of The College Fix’s mini-straw poll also largely mirror the findings of the official straw poll of CPAC attendees, a survey in which Paul received 31 percent of the vote among about 2,500 cast.

However, unlike that main straw poll, Cruz did not place second among College Fix interviewees, Christie did. Scott said young people cited Christie as a winnable candidate.

“They were big on his likability,” she said. “They said he is center of the road, and can attract moderates.”

Other popular contenders whom some expected to resonate with young people didn’t as much, for example – Rubio.

“People weren’t really talking about him,” Scott said. “He wasn’t generating a lot of discussion.”

College Fix contributors Courtney Scott and Vivian Hughbanks contributed to this report. Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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