Ben Carson Wins Southern Republican Leadership Conference Straw Poll

By Jane C. Timm,

OKLAHOMA CITY — Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson won the presidential straw poll at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference on Saturday with 25.4% of the vote — a cherry on the sundae for the candidate, who also scored a last-minute time slot upgrade when he replaced Sen. Ted Cruz as the gala event’s headline speaker.

Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon, announced his candidacy for president earlier this month, just two years after bursting onto the national stage with a National Prayer Breakfast speech where he insulted the president — who was just sitting two seats away. Carson’s win comes despite the fact that his address came late in the weekend’s events, indicating that many of his fans came prepared to vote for him.

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Image: Ben Carson
Ben Carson, former neurosurgeon, addresses the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) February 26, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland. Alex Wong / Getty Images file