OXON HILL, Md. (AP) -
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has won the Conservative Political Action Conference's annual presidential preference straw poll.
Pollsters announced Saturday afternoon that Paul won 26 percent of the votes in the annual survey, giving Paul his third consecutive win in as many years.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in second, with 21 percent.
The three-day CPAC conference in suburban Washington draws many libertarian-leaning college students whose views and priorities differ significantly from the Republican party at large. But it is nonetheless seen as a barometer of certain conservative activists' early leanings.
Pollsters say just over 3,000 attendees voted. Nearly half were aged 25 or under.
Respondents said economic issues, like jobs and taxes, were most important to them in deciding whom to support as the Republican nominee for president in 2016.
The results are nonbinding and reflect only the views of the registrants who chose to vote during the conference.
Following his CPAC win, Senator Paul released this statement: "I am humbled by the enthusiastic support and encouragement I received this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Our party is filled with constitutional conservatives who have chosen to stand with me for a third consecutive straw poll victory. Since President Ronald Reagan, the Conservative Political Action Conference has been the gold standard on where conservatives stand. The Constitutional Conservatives of our party have spoken in a loud and clear voice today. I plan on doing my part and I hope you will join me as I continue to make the GOP a bigger, better and bolder party."
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