Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Saturday, marking an early indicator of conservative support ahead of the next presidential election in 2016.
Paul topped the list and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) came in second, according to Ian Bishop.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) came in third place this year, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- who was notably not invited to this year's conference -- coming in fourth.
Paul received 25 percent of the vote, with Rubio in a close second with 23 percent. Santorum received eight percent, and Christie took seven percent of the vote.
The Hill's Alexandra Jaffe reports 2,930 registrants participated in the straw poll this year.
The annual straw poll came at the conclusion of the high-profile conference, which featured dozens of notable conservative speakers over three days at National Harbor near Washington, D.C.
Last year, Mitt Romney came out on top in the CPAC poll, foreshadowing his eventual nomination as Republican presidential candidate.
Below, a liveblog of the latest updates from CPAC:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) slammed President Barack Obama on his gun background checks: "More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President. We should have started with yours.”
Palin joked proudly about her and her husband's gun ownership while making a passing remark about her breasts: "Todd got the rifle, I've got the rack."
Palin paused to take a sip from a 'Big Gulp': "Bloomberg's not around. Don't worry."
Not accounting for America's severe hunger problem, Dr. Ben Carson implied that charities were enough to provide for those in need of assistance: “Nobody is starving on the streets. We’ve always taken care of them. It is not the government’s responsibility.”
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) touted conservatism as "the movement of love."
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich inadvertently echoed Obama's push for "new ideas," referencing technological advancement: "We don't need new principles, but we need lots of ideas about how to implement those principles in the 21st century."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) made familiar remarks urging conservatives to transition “people from government dependence to true independence.”
Former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney apologized for not winning the 2012 election: "I am sorry that I will not be your president," Romney said, "But I will be your co-worker."
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) delivered a rather sobering keynote speech, emphasizing that the GOP must stop being the "anti-everything" party: "Here’s reality: if you’re fortunate enough to count yourself among the privileged, much of the rest of the nation is drowning."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) made a reference to running for president while making a rather questionable weight joke involving New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R): "The truth is – I am too skinny to run. At least that's what my friend Chris Christie keeps telling me."
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) made a surprise visit to CPAC and introduced former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The second surprise? Bangs.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum accused Obama of using philosophies from the French Revolution: Obama "wants to exchange the 'why' of the American Revolution for the 'why' of the French Revolution."
Bachmann expresses her love for bloggers while handing out the 'Blogger of the Year' award at CPAC: “Bloggers are where it’s at!”
National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre isn't bothered by his recent bad publicity: "The liberal media can keep hating on me."
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had some choice words for liberals: "Chaos is fertile soil for liberalism."
Ryan references the smoke coming up from the chimney at the Vatican to the budget presented by the senate: "We got white smoke from the Vatican and a budget from the Senate!"
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) referenced the "The Golden Girls" in his speech: "Don't tell me Democrats are the party of the future," he said, "when their presidential ticket looks like a rerun of the Golden Girls."
Outspoken celebrity business mogul Donald Trump criticized the country's leadership: "We're run by either very foolish or very stupid people."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) references marriage equality: "Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in the traditional way does not make me a bigot." Watch his full speech here.
Rubio emphasizes that America doesn't need new ideas: "We don't need a new idea. There is an idea. The idea is called America and it still works." Watch his full speech here.
Rubio makes a dig at student loans: "Not everyone needs to go to a four year liberal arts college." Watch his full speech here.
Rubio mocks his awkward sip of water.
Paul criticized the cancellation of White House tours due to budget cuts: "Mr. President, maybe we could have cut the robotic squirrel before we went to White House tours." Watch his full CPAC speech here.
Paul criticized the state of his own party: "The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered." Watch his full CPAC speech here.
Paul continued to criticize President Obama on his drone policy: "My 13-hour filibuster was a message to the president: good intentions are not enough." Watch his full CPAC speech here.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) suggested gay marriage was putting the U.S. “on the road to the dust bin of history.”
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) reminisced about the 2012 campaign: "I remain haunted by the experience of the 2012 campaign." Watch his full speech here.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) suggested Americans needed to do more to form bonds in civil society. Lee shared an anecdote regarding his trip to a salad bar in Southern Utah: "I invite each one of you to square your shoulders and be 'on salad,'" said Lee. "In that sense, we are all 'on salad.'"
Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) suggested Medicaid required reform: "We need a Medicaid program that emphasizes personal responsibility with co-pays on a sliding scale, deductibles and premium payments for emergency room care, small contributions so patients take ownership over their utilization of care."
Perry had this to say about government spending: "Washington doesn't worry about how to pay bills, they just charge it to our grandchildren's account."
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) came out on top of this year's CPAC straw poll. Click here to read more.
From HuffPost's Paige Lavender:
Orly Taitz, commonly known as the "Birther Queen," was rebuked by blogger Pamela Geller during a Saturday panel on Islam and national security at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference.
Click here to read more.
HuffPost's Jason Linkins reports:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took the stage Saturday at CPAC, praising the assemblage for its support during the fraught Wisconsin recall fight, which Walker won, allowing him to stay in power. His speech was themed around the idea that the states are the laboratories of policy -- "Real reform does not happen in Washington, it happens in the statehouses throughout this country," he said -- and that he, in particular, was leading the way to end "government dependency."
If future GOP presidential runs depend on silver-tongues articulation of dorm-room "makers vs. takers" arguments, then Walker's future is pretty bright.
Click here to read more.
(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
|@ achorowitz : Phyllis Schlafly just asked if we would please follow her on Twitter. What.|
|@ Bencjacobs : Phyllis Schafly says immigrants will all vote Democratic, I don't think Marco Rubio agrees #cpac|
|@ jmartpolitico : Phyllis Schlafly: "comprehensive is a synonym for amnesty"|
(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
|@ elisefoley : Palin exits to Shania Twain's "She's Not Just a Pretty Face." Sample lyric: "She's a geologist--a romance novelist"|
|@ elisefoley : Palin's referenced Big Gulps, guns annnnnnd, of course, White Hours tours, literally world's most important topic.|
|@ politicoroger : Palin: White House "has power to use drones without accountability, but not enough to open WH to kids for spring break."#cpac2013|
|@ politicoroger : Palin: "These experts keep making millions by losing elections." #cpac2013|
|@ politicoroger : Palin: "If you don't have a lobbyist in DC, you are not at the table, you are on the menu."|
|@ jonward11 : "It's time to stop preaching to the choir," Palin tells choir.|
|@ HotlineJosh : RT @AaronBlakeWP: Palin pauses her speech to take a sip from a Big Gulp. Crowd goes wild. "Bloomberg's not around. Don't worry." #CPAC|
|@ joshgreenman : (Wouldn't have been banned.) MT @elisefoley: Palin drinking a Big Gulp on stage at CPAC. http://t.co/y2FlBCXKyk|
|@ achorowitz : "You gotta be thinking Sam Adams, not drinking Sam Adams." -Palin to college Republicans, adding "it was a joke."|
|@ lgabriellel : "He's got the rifle, I've got the rack." --Sarah Palin on Christmas gifts she and her husband bought each other. #CPAC2013|
|@ elisefoley : Palin says Obama should "step away from the teleprompter and do [his] job." Is she using one?|
|@ AaronBlakeWP : Palin: “Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever. Barack Obama: You lie.” #CPAC|
|@ mpoindc : After nodding to Obama's win in '12, Palin: "He's considered a good politician — which is like saying Bernie Madoff was a good salesman."|
|@ achorowitz : "Came in second... out of 2!" -Palin, on 2012|
|@ AaronBlakeWP : Palin: "More background checks? Dandy idea Mr. President. Shoulda started with yours.” #CPAC|
|@ AaronBlakeWP : Palin on Cruz: “He chews barbed wire, he spits out rust.” #CPAC|
|@ AaronBlakeWP : Ted Cruz: "I would not be in the United States Senate today if it were not for Gov. Palin." #CPAC|
|@ jonward11 : Cruz says Palin "drives the mainstream media bat crap crazy."|
|@ jonward11 : "The mainstream media wants us to shut up ... to accept defeat ... to be timid and hide in the corner." - Ted Cruz|
|@ achorowitz : "I am not remotely cool enough to be Sarah Palin" -Ted Cruz|
|@ jonward11 : despite his efforts, this crowd still seems a little skeptical of Artur|
|@ jonward11 : in first #CPAC speech, Artur Davis tries to win over activists who might be skeptical of him, & sets up critique of party, by bashing media|
|@ ariannahuff : Jeb Bush at #cpac2013: "If you're fortunate enough to count yourself among the privileged, the rest of the nation is drowning."|
|@ CraigCaplan : .@SenTedCruz served as introductory speaker at #CPAC 2011. Tonight he's #CPAC2013 last keynote speaker of the day. http://t.co/Z3paWaRWgv|
|@ LOLGOP : The thesis statement of every speech at #CPAC2013: Read my book.|
|@ daveweigel : Betting on a Ben Carson/Tim Scott 2016 GOP ticket|
|@ samsteinhp : Dr Carson is a grt, thought provoking speaker but i don't get this line: "Nobody's starving on the streets, we've always taken care of them"|
|@ daveweigel : RT @igorvolsky: Wow, Fox News is carrying Dr. Ben Carson's speech live. Newt or Bachmann didn't even get this kind of treatment...|
|@ daveweigel : Carson: "Many people don't know this, but socialism started as a reaction to America." It did?|
|@ achorowitz : Bachmann argues for more funding for cancer, Alzheimer's research. Great, but, the Ryan budget cut funding for medical research.|
|@ UrquhartMP : Speaker says the "2nd amendment is under siege. Especially in our schools." #CPAC2013|
|@ RightWingWatch : According to Bachmann at #CPAC2013, conservatism is "the movement of love, the movement of care."|
|@ vdare : Bachmann's speech is surprisingly unfocused. Jumping from one issue to another. It's like a campaign speech. #CPAC|
|@ daveweigel : Bachmann spending a lot of time hitting WH for wasteful spending on personnel. Okay, then. http://t.co/isCrAMPbFf|
|@ AaronBlakeWP : Bachmann on two full-time projectionists in White House: “I don’t mean to be petty here, but can’t they just push the play button.” #CPAC|
|@ ACUConservative : @TeamBachmann on what Obama should say to UN: "The future does not belong to the low-life murderers who kill innocent Americans." #CPAC2013|