Political Slam Dunk! Ted Cruz Wins Values Voter Summit Straw Poll Three Years Running

Political Slam Dunk! Ted Cruz Wins Values Voter Summit Straw Poll Three Years Running

That’s our hero! Ted Cruz won the Values Voter Summit Straw Poll for the third year in a row. He didn’t just win it… he nailed it with 35% of the vote – 408 votes. In fact, one source says that Cruz got 42% of the vote. Ben Carson came in at second with 18%. Cruz led Carson last year by 5 percentage points. He now leads him by 17. Mike Huckabe came in third at 14%, trailed by Marco Rubio at 13% and Trump in a distant fifth at 5%. The evangelicals love Ted Cruz, so do the die hard constitutionalists. As far as I’m concerned, Ted Cruz has ‘presidential’ written all over him. There were 2,700 conservatives registered at the event, which was held in the belly of the beast – Washington, DC. Evangelicals make up about 40% of the primary votes. Cruz was even more popular when he slammed John Boehner who suddenly decided to step down. That got a resounding cheer from conservatives and rightly so.

Ted Cruz VVS

From The Hill:

Sen. Ted Cruz won the Values Voter Summit straw poll for the third year in a row on Saturday, a strong showing of support from evangelical voters for his 2016 presidential bid.

The firebrand Texas senator won a whopping 35 percent in the poll of summit-goers, ahead of runner-up Ben Carson’s 18 percent. That margin is significantly wider than last year, where he edged out Carson by just 5 percentage points.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) took third with 14 percent, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) with 13 percent. Real estate magnate Donald Trump finished a distant fifth with 5 percent.
Carson won the event’s poll for vice president, his second consecutive win for that category.

Family Research Council Action president Tony Perkins announced the results Saturday afternoon to applause from the conference’s attendees. Perkins’ group organized the three-day event.

Eight GOP presidential candidates took to the summit stage in order to make their case to the religious conservative audience—Cruz, Carson, Trump, Rubio, Huckabee, as well as Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Rand Paul (Ky.), and Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.).

The results confirm Cruz, Carson and Huckabee’s strength among religious conservative voters. Each rely on the voting bloc as a core piece of their electorate, but the huge win for Cruz is likely encouraging considering recent polls showing the senator outside of the top tier with evangelicals.

But the figures are surprising for both Rubio and Trump. Rubio’s finish shows him continuing to make gains with religious conservative voters as he rises in national polling. But the result is a disappointment for Trump, who had led with evangelicals in two recent polls.

The Values Voter Summit though is Cruz country and several conference-goers mentioned his name first as the person they trust most on issues important to social conservatives when interviewed by The Hill during the event.

William Temple, a 65-year-old pastor from Brunswick, Ga., attended the conference dressed as Button Gwinnett, a Georgia signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Describing himself as a leader of the Tea Party’s 2009 “March on Washington,” Temple wore a black Tricorn hat and held a yellow Revolutionary flag embellished with the motto “Don’t Tread On Me.” He said that the signatures printed on his flag were collected at past events from “Tea Party heroes” including Ted Cruz, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann.

Cruz is Temple’s favorite for the 2016 presidential race because the Texas senator is “right on every Constitutional issue.” Temple said of all the Republican candidates Cruz was “in the best place with evangelicals.”

Matt Schlapp, the president of the American Conservative Union, told The Hill on Friday before the straw poll that he wouldn’t be surprised if Cruz won, praising his performance.

“Sen. Cruz continues to just understand these audiences. He connects well with these primary voters and he really doesn’t misstep,” he said.

“Every time I see him address these audiences across the country, he’s very surefooted and I think he’s just going to gain in popularity with these voters.”

A number of other candidates received strong marks from conference goers, including Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa caucuses. Social conservatives said they trust Jindal and Santorum, but none of the latter three are gaining traction in the GOP presidential race.

Ben Carson received warm support, but many still are not familiar with the retired neurosurgeon say it’s yet to be seen whether he will be as strong on social issues as Cruz or Huckabee.

While recent polls have shown Donald Trump leading with evangelical voters as well as across the board, he placed well outside of the top-tier. Trump gave an extremely well-attended speech on Friday, but some conference-goers mocked him for seeking to appeal to the Christian base by bringing the Bible that he said his mother gave him as a child.

“That was offensive,” said Todd Dexter, a fundraiser for nonprofit groups in Texas. “Have you opened it? That’s what everyone around me was asking.”

Dexter though praised Cruz. “He didn’t all of a sudden become conservative just because he’s running for office.”

A handful of candidates didn’t attend the summit—Jeb Bush, Govs. Chris Christie (N.J.), John Kasich (Ohio) and Carly Fiorina.

Bush, seen initially as one of the party’s favorites for the nomination, received just seven votes in the straw poll.

“It would help him if he would actually show up and talk to values voters,” Perkins said during a press conference after the event.

Christie and Graham did worse than Bush, both were tied with four votes.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) the progressive senator running for the Democratic nomination, received five votes.

Cruz joked with the audience and they loved it. He slammed Hillary Clinton and the Washington Cartel and they ate it up. Cruz pointed out that the first Democratic debate might be held at Leavenworth. Nice… and possibly true. “If they can project a rainbow on the White House, maybe they can put bars on windows,” Cruz continued to joke, taking a jab at Clinton. “They had planned to have an earlier Democratic debate; the problem was the debate invitation was emailed to Hillary.” Heh. Cruz went on to say that the government is bankrupting kids and grand kids, and constitutional rights are under assault. He added that the world is a much more dangerous place. But he told the audience that there is hope and this can be turned around. If elected president, he promised to rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action. “You live by the pen, you die by the pen,” Cruz said of President Obama. Cruz promises he would instruct the Department of Justice to investigate Planned Parenthood and prosecute any criminal conduct by that organization. He would end the attack on religious liberty and rip to shreds this “catastrophic” nuclear deal with Iran. Cruz added that a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Cruz will decimate Obamacare as well, “We will repeal every word of Obamacare,” and tell the Department of Education – “which should be abolished” – that Common Core ends today. Cruz would ensure that Kate’s Law is passed to end sanctuary cities, addressing the issue of illegal immigration. And finally, Cruz said if he’s elected President, he promises to take on the EPA, the CFPB , “the alphabet soup” that strangles small businesses, and to abolish the IRS. What’s not to love? No wonder he walked away with the straw poll. Cruz for President!

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at NoisyRoom.net. She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - trevorloudon.com. She also does research at KeyWiki.org. You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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