- At the annual Values Voter Summit, Ted Cruz won the straw poll
- The results were similar to a year ago
- Cruz got the most votes, followed by Dr. Ben Carson
Cruz first. Carson second. Sound familiar?
If it does, it's because for the second year in a row, the duo clinched the top two spots for the presidential choice vote in the buzzy Values Voter Summit straw poll.
Last year, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas beat Dr. Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon and Fox News contributor, by a whopping 29%. On Saturday, Cruz beat Carson just by 5%.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania rounded out the top four, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul tied for fifth place with 7% of the vote.
To further the case that not much has changed, this year's results for the vice presidential choice also mimicked last year's, with Carson coming in first and Cruz coming in second. In a small twist, Jindal beat out Rep. Michelle Bachman for the third place title. She and Santorum took the fourth and fifth place spots in the race this year.
Poll participants at the Values Voter Summit were also asked to rank their top three most important issues. To little surprise amongst the conservative crowd, protecting religious liberty was deemed the most important issue by an overwhelming margin, while abortion and national security followed as the next most important issues.
Announcing the results, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative public policy and lobbying organization that sponsors the Summit, noted that participation was up this year from last, likely due to the upcoming midterm election.
"It actually shows that there is more engagement of core conservatives in the process when they have a reason to be," Perkins said.
"The evidence here is quite clear, that when conservatives have someone who will speak clearly, concisely -- a conservative message that embraces all elements of conservatism -- they gain enthusiastic support."
Voters were also allowed to write-in candidates that they thought were deserving of a vote if they weren't included in the list of 24 elected officials selected. Notable write-ins included Christian evangelist and missionary Franklin Graham for President.
The Values Voter Summit is holding its 9th annual political conference in Washington through Sunday. The meeting draws thousands of conservative politicians and activists nationwide to hear speeches from featured guests and vote in the annual straw poll.