U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz easily won the presidential preference straw poll held at the Texas GOP’s state convention Saturday, crushing outgoing Gov. Rick Perry and several other early contenders for the 2016 nomination.
Cruz took 43.4 percent of the vote, according to results announced at the close of the convention. Ben Carson, a columnist and neurosurgeon from Michigan, came in second with 12.2 percent, edging Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who came in third place with 12.1 percent. In something of a surprise, Perry, who made a failed presidential attempt in 2012, came in fourth place with 11.7 percent.