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first gop presidential straw poll reveals 2016 field


September 26, 2013

First GOP Presidential Straw Poll reveals 2016 Field

September 26, 2013. Mackinac Isle. Every other year for over a half century, Michigan’s Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference conducts a Presidential Straw Poll for attendees. This weekend, the winner of the nation’s first 2016 Presidential Straw Poll was KY Senator Rand Paul. But it was the crowded field of probable GOP candidates that was even more interesting.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) won the first GOP Presidential Straw Poll of the 2016 primary season. Image courtesy of Slate.com.

In 2012, the Republicans initially fielded a large 13-person line-up of Presidential candidates. 2016 is shaping up to be just as crowded. In the first Republican Presidential Straw Poll of the still-distant election, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) won an impressive victory amidst a large field of hopefuls. While Paul received only 36 percent of the vote, that was still double the total of runner-up NJ Gov. Chris Christie.

2013 Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference

Every two years since 1953, Michigan Republicans gather on Mackinac Island to discuss local strategy, network with other Michigan party members and interact with national GOP leaders. The event’s website calls it, ‘one of the premier Republican events in Michigan.

For this weekend’s conference, the published list of speakers included Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Karl Rove, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), former FL Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), WI Governor Scott Walker, Saratoga Springs, UT Mayor Mia Love, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), MI Gov. Rick Snyder, LA Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and RNC Chair Reince Priebus.

The above list of speakers gives the first indication of who the top-tier Republican candidates for President in 2016 will be. Some can be eliminated like strategist Karl Rove, party Chairman Reince Priebus, Mia Love who is running for Congress, and even Gov. Snyder who was simply the host Governor of the event. The rest make an interesting field of early ‘unofficial’ candidates, including the noticeably missing NJ Governor Chris Christie.

Presidential Straw Poll

As detailed by The Daily Caller, the 2013 Mackinac Presidential Straw Poll was won by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, with NJ Gov. Chris Christie finishing second. Below is a more detailed list of vote totals:

526 total votes cast

  • Rand Paul (188)
  • Chris Christie (82)
  • Jeb Bush (42)
  • Scott Walker (39)
  • Ted Cruz (36)

When contacted by The Daily Caller, Sen. Paul responded to the news of his victory saying, “It’s always exciting to place first in anything.” One topic of Conference attendees this weekend was the potential government shutdown over the defunding of Obamacare. Much of the federal government will cease running, and paying its bills, in the coming weeks if an emergency spending Bill is not passed.

The House passed a spending Bill, but stripped funding for the controversial universal healthcare law commonly referred to as Obamacare. With time running out to avert a government shutdown, the theatrics have already started in the US Senate. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) carried on a 21-hour-long speech in what appeared as a filibuster to delay any vote on a Bill that put Obamacare back in, which Senate President Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to do.

Yesterday however, the entire Senate including Cruz voted 100-0 to suspend procedural rules and move to debating the Bill just passed by the House. Fellow Republicans in the Senate, like John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), have indicated throughout the Sunday talk show circuit that they intend to side with President Obama and vote for a Bill that includes Obamacare. Instead, both Senators are pushing for an earmark to be added that gives a tax break for medical devices.

For more information on this weekend’s Mackinac Republican Presidential Straw Poll, read the full report from The Daily Caller.


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