Ted Cruz Wins Values Voter Straw Poll, Along with Santorum Surprise | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Ted Cruz Wins Values Voter Straw Poll, Along with Santorum Surprise
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The results of a straw poll conducted at the Values Voter Summit showed that conservatives are united in their support for Senator Ted Cruz in 2016. One of the earlier major conservative straw polls was conducted over the course of two days, and resulted in Senator Cruz claiming a commanding 42% of votes for a prosective Presidential run. Former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who spoke on the first day of the summit and suggested that the thought of running again crosses his mind from time to time–“even today”–received 13 percent of the vote, an almost statistical tie with Dr. Ben Carson.

On the vote for a prospective vice-presidential candidate, Dr. Carson won handily with 21% of the vote. Ted Cruz placed in second, with 17%, while Congresswoman Michele Bachmann earned third place with 9% of the vote. Another item in the poll was major issues: voters decided that religious liberty was the number one issue facing conservative voters, with pro-life matters coming in second.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that the Values Voter straw poll reveals what conservative republican voters are looking for: For a leader, someone who will challenge status quo and the “we won’t mentality.” Ted Cruz does this, Perkins thinks. The other leading candidates also fall into that catergory.

Perkins revealed he was surprised; not that Cruz won, but that his percentage was so overwhelming. Contrast that with Mitt Romney, who Perkins said did not finish with commanding leads in Values Voter straw polls during the years leading up to the 2012 election. On the tie between Dr. Carson and Rick Santorum, Perkins said the two are very similar and that he doesn’t perceive a dichotomy.

Also surprising, Perkins said, was the level of enthusiasm for the summit. Despite it being the second term of Obama’s presidency, the summit acheived high attendence and participants were very engaged. He thinks it would be a mistake to discount the Values Voters and social conservatives. “[You would be] hard- pressed to say this is a dying movement,” Perkins claimed. And he thinks that the “wacko bird” mindset which Republicans like John McCain apply to Senators such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul is what brought about the electoral losses for Republicans in 2008 and 2012. Republicans reached out to the middle, Perkins said, but they overstepped the base, and the base stayed home.

Perkins is optimistic that Values Voter issues will be well-received in future elections. He cited results of polls which suggest that 85 percent of Americans agree against violations of religious conscience, such as in the case of bakers and wedding-photographers who were punished for refusing to serve same-sex couples.

Presidential Candidate Name

Votes

Percentage

Senator Ted Cruz

317

42%

Dr. Ben Carson

102

13%

Senator Rick Santorum

101

13%

Senator Rand Paul

49

6%

Senator Marco Rubio

36

5%

Congressman Paul Ryan

31

4%

Governor Mike Huckabee

27

4%

Governor Mike Pence

23

3%

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

16

2%

Governor Rick Perry

12

2%

Governor Chris Christie

9

1%

Write In Candidate

8

1%

Governor Scott Walker

8

1%

Governor Bobby Jindal

7

1%

Governor Jeb Bush

6

1%

Speaker Newt Gingrich

4

1%

Governor Susana Martinez

2

0%

Senator Mike Lee

2

0%

Governor Sam Brownback

1

0%

Senator Hillary Clinton

1

0%

 

Vice Presidential Candidate Responses:

Candidate Name

Votes

Percentage

Dr. Ben Carson

161

21%

Senator Ted Cruz

127

17%

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

72

9%

Senator Rand Paul

64

8%

Senator Marco Rubio

56

7%

Senator Rick Santorum

55

7%

Congressman Paul Ryan

41

5%

Governor Scott Walker

32

4%

Governor Mike Huckabee

29

4%

Senator Mike Lee

26

3%

Write In Candidate

24

3%

Governor Mike Pence

22

3%

Governor Bobby Jindal

15

2%

Governor Rick Perry

9

1%

Governor Susana Martinez

7

1%

Governor Sam Brownback

7

1%

Governor Chris Christie

4

1%

Governor Jeb Bush

4

1%

Congressman Eric Cantor

4

1%

Speaker Newt Gingrich

2

0%

Senator Hillary Clinton

1

0%

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