Rand Paul Wins New Hampshire Straw Poll

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has scored another victory in his campaign for the presidency. Yesterday, Senator Paul won the straw poll at the Republican Liberty Caucus National Convention in New Hampshire.

As the Hill reported, the poll had around 800 participants. In 2012, Rand’s father, Ron Paul, was the preferred candidate in the same straw poll. The poll uses a method of voting that allows participants to pick multiple preferred candidates.

“The straw poll was conducted using an alternative voting method called ‘approval voting,’ which allows voters to approve of one or more of the current Republican presidential candidates.”

Of the nearly 800 Republican Liberty Caucus voters, 57.1 percent preferred Paul. Coming in second, the Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, was preferred by 51.2 percent of the voters. Not surprisingly, other, more establishment Republicans didn’t fare as well.

Jeb Bush received 1.2 percent support in the poll. Ohio Governor John Kasich was preferred by only 2.2 percent. Even the current Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump didn’t get much support, with only 6.9 percent.

Donald Trump loses NH straw poll [Photo by Isaac Brekken / Getty Images]Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson came in a distant third place, with 17.9 percent. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was in fourth, with 10.1 percent.

The National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, Matt Nye, said that the straw poll shows that Paul and Cruz are the best candidates in the crowded Republican field.

“Liberty Republicans have clearly identified these two candidates as the best in a crowded field. They are an inspiration to Republicans around the country and we look forward to a great crop of candidates at every level, ready to go to Washington and restore limited government and a respect for individual liberty.”

Both Paul and Cruz made appearances at the conference. Rand Paul continued his normal libertarian rhetoric at the event, saying that he wanted a government that basically leaves people alone. As this poll demonstrates, those very libertarian views are also shared by Republicans.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, last month, Paul won the straw poll at the Mackinac Island Republican Leadership Conference in Michigan. He was able to grab 22 percent of the vote. While the neither the Michigan poll or the New Hampshire straw poll are good predictors of the party’s nominee, they do mean something. The straw polls show strong support for Rand Paul and Ted Cruz among more conservative voters.

Last election cycle, Mitt Romney won the Mackinac straw poll. He then went on to win the Republican presidential nomination. There’s no doubt that the Paul campaign is hoping these straw poll victories will bring good luck.

Ted Cruz comes in second in NH straw poll [Photo by Sean Rayford / Getty Images]Ted Cruz said in a statement that he was pleased with the results. He also said that if elected, libertarians could count on him to defend the Constitution. As a senator, Cruz has actually strayed from some libertarian ideas.

“We are very encouraged by the growing support we are seeing among liberty voters in the early states and across the country… If I’m elected president, libertarian voters across the country can be confident that I will continue to stand for the U.S. Constitution at every turn.”

One libertarian idea is that the government shouldn’t intrude on its citizens’ privacy. Virtually all libertarians are opposed to the indiscriminate NSA spying programs. While Rand Paul opposes most aspects of the NSA spying, Cruz took another stance. As Politico noted, Cruz takes a position between the more hawkish establishment Republicans, and privacy advocates like Rand Paul.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images]