Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) scored a victory in the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, edging out Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), NBC News reported on Saturday.
Paul, whose father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), won the poll at the conference in 2010 and 2011, garnered 25 percent of the vote this year, two percentage points more than Rubio. Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was third with 8 percent of the vote, ahead of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), whose snubbing by organizers was criticized in political circles. Christie won 7 percent of the vote.
Republican strategist Tony Fabrizio, who announced the results, said Paul was boosted by deep support among younger conservatives. More than half of the voters, Fabrizio said, were between 18 and 25 years old.
Paul has also seen his star rise in conservative circles since his 13-hour filibuster on March 6 criticizing President Barack Obama’s policy on the use of unmanned drones, despite criticism from other GOP lawmakers.
CBS News reported that 2,930 voters took part in the CPAC poll, and that Paul also won a national poll conducted concurrently with the conference survey.