Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Rubio trails poll at conservative CPAC conference

If Marco Rubio is hoping to become president on the strength of his popularity within his own base, he has a lot of work to do.

Rubio finished in a surprisngly distant 7th place in the annual straw poll taken at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this past weekend.

In the poll, Kentucky's Rand Paul finished first with 31 percent, according to results that the Tampa Bay Times had this piece, followed by Ted Cruz (11 percent), Dr. Ben Carson (9), Chris Christie (8) and Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Scott Walker (both 7).

Rubio had 6 percent.

I've long thought Rubio's presidential aspirations were delusions of grandeur. Forget his short track record in Washington. He has too much baggage as a former legislator to survive vetting from his own party on a national stage. (Everything from wild credit-card spending and double-billing taxpayers for plane flights to proposing the biggest sales-tax increase in the history of Florida as part of a property-tax swap idea that bombed. Such things will make many conservatives nervous.)

Still, the CPAC results (called everything from a "collapse" to "the biggest loser") were the result of Rubio's recent work on the national stage -- and suggest that his attempts to play both sides on issues like immigration are winning over neither.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun