Once again this year, Senator Rand Paul (KY) was the most popular choice for a presidential candidacy as voted by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The annual straw poll had Paul ahead by 20 points with 31 percent.
Although Tea Party champion Senator Ted Cruz (TX) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are more well known across the country, they came in with just 11 percent and 8 percent respectively.Sliding in between was Ben Carson - a popular African-American conservative speaker and former neurosurgeon - with 9 percent of the vote.
Why was the Republican who is most committed to libertarian principles vaulted to the top for a second year in a row? Will there be a resurgence of that wing of the GOP?
Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times