Ted Cruz has won the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C.
Four in ten activists at the conference, known as CPAC, picked Cruz as their preferred candidate, while Marco Rubio won 30 percent support, Donald Trump won 15 percent and John Kasich won eight percent.
Almost 2,700 activists voted in the poll, many of them young voters. The average age of participants was about 35, according to the survey's organizers.
Presidential hopefuls Cruz, Rubio and Kasich all spoke at the conference this weekend. But Trump, who was scheduled to speak Saturday morning, abruptly dropped out of the event late on Friday night, choosing to campaign in Kansas instead.
The crowd at CPAC was one unlikely to be friendly to Trump. Figures like RNC chairman Reince Priebus and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse – who have tussled with the real estate mogul in the past – made prominent appearances earlier in the weekend.
During his remarks to the conference, Cruz poked fun at Trump's decision to skip the event.
"I think somebody told him Megyn Kelly was going to be here," he said. "Or even worse, he was told that conservatives were going to be here. Or even worse, he was told libertarians that were going to be here. Or even worse, that young people were going to be here."
"If you don’t want Donald trump to win the nomination then come join us," he added. "We are building a group of followers who are lovers of the Constitution."