GOP Presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) won the straw poll at the Mackinac Island Republican Leadership Conference in Michigan on Saturday, surpassing current GOP frontrunners in the polls such as Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump.
Paul received 22 percent in the poll, and he was followed by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina with 15 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 13.8 percent, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) with 13 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 9.7 percent, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) with 8 percent, and billionaire mogul Donald Trump with 6 percent.
The Detroit News, which released the results of the poll, noted that in addition to winning the 2015 straw poll consisting of 785 ballots, Paul also won the conference’s straw poll in 2013.
The Detroit Free Press noted that while some officials with other campaigns “complained the Paul campaign made a concerted effort to bring people to the island to register for the conference so they could vote in the straw poll,” Paul’s national political director, John Yob, insisted that’s “what organizational contests are all about,” and predicted that “Rand Paul is going to over-perform in organizational contests around the country.”
“This is an organization test that indicates that Paul will over-perform in other organizational contests such as Iowa, Nevada, Minnesota and other caucus states that come before the March 8 Michigan primary,” Yob said.
Paul’s victory in the poll comes days after a defeat in polls following the second GOP debate on Wednesday. According to the first official poll released after the debate, 2 percent viewed Paul as the debate winner, putting him far behind Trump, who received 21 percent support, and Fiorina, who won with 33 percent.
According to the results from the Michigan straw poll, Paul surpassed both Trump, who has consistently been the GOP frontrunner since he announced he was running in June, and Fiorina, whose poll numbers rose drastically after her performance in the recent debate.
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