Ryan fifth, Walker sixth in GOP straw poll

2013-03-17T10:00:00Z 2013-03-17T12:52:58Z Ryan fifth, Walker sixth in GOP straw pollThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 17, 2013 10:00 am  • 

OXON HILL, Md. — Just two months into President Barack Obama’s second term, Republican leaders are lining up to diagnose the GOP’s ills while courting party activists and looking toward the presidential primary in 2016.

Thousands of activists who packed into suburban Washington’s national conservative summit on Saturday gave Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul a narrow victory over Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in their straw poll. Paul had 25 percent of the vote and Rubio 23 percent. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was third with 8 percent.

The freshman senators topped a pool of nearly two dozen governors and elected officials who paraded through over three days. There were passionate calls for party unity, as the party’s old guard and a new generation of leaders clashed over the future of the party.

First-term Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who placed sixth in the straw poll, on Saturday encouraged Republicans to be aggressive but warned them to focus on middle-class concerns: "We need to be relevant."

The straw poll victory offers little more than bragging rights for Paul, who is popular with the younger generation of libertarian-minded conservatives who packed the conference. Paul’s father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, won the poll in 2010 and 2011, while presidential nominee Mitt Romney took the honor last year.

Walker thrilled activists Saturday by declaring: "In America, we believe in the people and not in the government."

"It is precisely why ... we take a day off and celebrate the Fourth of July and not the 15th of April," he said.

The event also featured Romney, who delivered his first speech since his Election Day loss four months ago. Romney heaped praise on his 2012 running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan of Janesville, who finished fifth in the poll.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. Mr Bluejeans
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    Mr Bluejeans - March 17, 2013 8:57 pm
    A veritable Wisconsin duo: Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb. I hope it turns out to be Runt Paul and Sarah Palin that get nominated. What a sweet combo. Lots of newsworthy stuff from THOSE two for sure.
  2. Mobley
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    Mobley - March 17, 2013 7:26 pm
    The republican party is in serious trouble with those chumps. At least the Democrats can get elected.
  3. Balancr
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    Balancr - March 17, 2013 5:16 pm
    It's pretty bad when Fox News barely covers Mit Romney. And 6th place for Walker - yeesh
  4. David Lee
    Report Abuse
    David Lee - March 17, 2013 1:20 pm
    They aren't, but the repukicants pick bigger losers.
  5. David Lee
    Report Abuse
    David Lee - March 17, 2013 1:20 pm
    Did willard get elected? I don't think so.
  6. David Lee
    Report Abuse
    David Lee - March 17, 2013 1:19 pm
    5th and 6th? No onder the GOP stands for Goofy Old People.
  7. Buggs Raplin
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    Buggs Raplin - March 17, 2013 11:47 am
    Losers? As if the Democrats are winners....
  8. ou812
    Report Abuse
    ou812 - March 17, 2013 11:46 am
    To bad the people elected the real loser!!!!!
  9. Talulah3
    Report Abuse
    Talulah3 - March 17, 2013 10:04 am
    What a bunch of unelectable losers!
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