Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) took nearly half the vote in the most recent La Crosse GOP straw poll of prospective presidential candidates.
Rubio won 43 percent of the vote, while runner-up businessman Donald Trump won just 19 percent. Trump was neck-and-neck with Ohio governor John Kasich who took 17 percent, while Texas Senator Ted Cruz was third with 15 percent.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson fell dramatically from previous polls, registering less than 4 percent.
Ted Cruz led the last La Crosse GOP straw poll with 28 percent, while Rubio and Trump were tied with 24 percent, indicating a clear surge for Rubio, who gained 19 percent since that straw poll in January.
This most recent straw poll was held at the party’s annual Lincoln Dinner on Saturday, which this year featured special guest speakers Sen. Ron Johnson, Gov. Scott Walker, Julian Bradley, and Dan Kapanke.