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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio fares poorly in CPAC straw poll



An emerging storyline in political journalism is that Sen. Marco Rubio is making a comeback. But the message did not reach hard core conservatives gathered this weekend outside Washington, D.C.

Rubio placed a distant 7th in the annual CPAC straw poll on Saturday, a clear reminder of hits Rubio took for helping write the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill. Last year, as the immigration debate was just beginning, Rubio came in second place.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was first with 31 percent of the vote by registered CPAC attendees, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 11 percent. Dr. Ben Carson received 9 percent, followed by Gov. Chris Christie with 8 percent and former Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Scott Walker both received 7 percent.

Rubio addressed the conference on Thursday and focused on foreign policy, a subject that has helped bring him new attention. He did not mention immigration, but it was on the mind of many conference goers.

A little perspective: CPAC draws a younger, libertarian minded group that elevated Ron Paul and now his son. The straw poll is just that but it's also a window into the difficulty Rubio faced with the base, and may face going forward.

[Last modified: Saturday, March 8, 2014 9:12pm]


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