Rand Paul wins PLC Presidential Straw Poll

Rand Paul portrait
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has emerged as a favorite among Pennsylvania’s conservative activists. By a wide margin, he won the presidential straw poll at this weekend’s Pa. Leadership Conference.

Paul rose to national prominence earlier this year when he filibustered on the Senate floor to protest the Obama administration’s vague definition of its own powers vis-a-vis drone strikes.

In so doing he took up the mantle of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), whose brand of libertarian Republicanism energized conservative grassroots for years.

Many observers expect Paul to make a run at the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

This year’s PLC was the 24th annual gathering of movement conservatives from across Pa.

Paul took 39% of the votes. Florida Senator Marco Rubio came in second with 18%.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) came in third with 16%, former PA Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum was fourth (6%) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was fifth (5%).

Other results from the group of grassroots, often anti-establishment conservatives offered a mixed bag for the Pa. Republican Party.

The attendees strongly disagreed with the state parties endorsement of candidates in the primary, with 75% of respondents reporting they do not agree with their parties choice of candidate.

While poll participants were fractured on their parties endorsement of candidates, they were still unable to reach a consensus on the situation PA is currently in.

But good news for Gov. Tom Corbett, who is looking over his shoulder at a potential primary challenge from Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor. A total of 62% of respondents approved with the current job Gov. Corbett is doing.

Event organizers declined to include a primary matchup question for the Guv race, as well as any question measuring blowback against Sen. Pat Toomey after his effort to expand background checks.

47% reported supporting the job of the Commonwealth’s Republican-controlled legislature.

Overall, only 37% of participants were satisfied with the direction Pennsylvania is going.

On the federal level, 51% approved of the job being done by the U.S. House, while only 4% approved of the job performance of the Democratically controlled U.S. Senate.

Unsurprisingly, respondents reported that the most important issues facing the in U.S. 2013 was government spending and size of government.

The straw poll included responses from 255 attendees and was conducted by Scott Davis. Organizers estimate that roughly 700 people attended the weekend conference.

Keegan Gibson contributed to this report.

PLC 2013 Prez straw poll

8 Responses

  1. The only Republicans I ever voted for are Hugh Scott, Dick Schweiker, and Arlen Specter. I regretted voting for Schweiker after he went Reagan and after the Clinton impeachment I stopped voting for Specter, because he didn’t change political affiliation when he should have. — Yet I am excited about Rand Paul and the potential there. I talked about voting for Ron Paul, but I never did. One of my sons, however, did switch over to vote for Ron Paul. —- There are about one million African American men locked in prison for non-violent crimes. Why would this nation give citizenship to eleven million criminals and not then put a million or more Americans on some sort of probation or in halfway houses. And why are there no jobs for released offenders, when we import 98% of our apparel goods and bring in foreigners to pick crops? Rand Paul wants 20% of the black vote and there are ways he can get that and more.

  2. It’s too bad event organizers chickened out on a primary poll for the Governor’s race and a poll for Toomey’s blowback on turning anti-gun.

    Good news for Paul though. While, the leadership in PA suffers from endorsements and backroom deals, going towards Constitutionalism/Civil liberties/Libertarianism will save the party from the current corruption.

  3. It would be wonderful to have a presidential candidate that has actually read the U.S. Constitution and who believes in following it.
    The people of Kentucky are fortunate that they have a Senator that reads the Bills before the Senate, and believes the other Senators should do likewise. How about having a President that reads the Legislation and compares it to the Constitution, before he signs it?
    Wouldn’t that be cool?

  4. No straw poll for governor primary, huh? Mr. Anton afraid Castor would beat his guy Corbett like a rented mule (again: see politic spa straw poll)? Lots of people mad at Anton for his opening remarks endorsing Corbett over Castor, though neither was even there at the time. The commissioner and governor seemed friendly at the dinner though briefly speaking and shaking hands.

  5. Whose idea was it to use different shades of blue, yellow and burnt orange for a chart that has 11 different slices, ROYGBIV people!!!

Comments are closed.

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