The Washington Times - July 20, 2013, 01:41PM

“The results are in,” says Allen West, who has been conducting an online 2016 presidential straw poll for Republican hopefuls since June through his Guardian Fund, a political action committee currently raising money for a dozen conservative candidates who are either veterans or minorities.

The winner of the straw poll is Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas with 58 percent of the vote, besting Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

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The pair of lawmakers were the final contenders in a runoff from a roster of previous possible candidates that once included Sen. Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Trump, Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Rick Santorum.

Mr. West claims here were “tens of thousands of ballots cast” in the ongoing poll, which ended Friday.

“Ted Cruz and Rand Paul both strong leaders who deeply care about the future of America, but they can’t both be president,” he says.

“This nation we love is heading down the wrong path. The liberal progressives in Washington view the U.S. as their experimental laboratory for their failed leftist policies and it’s compromising our economic prosperity, national security, and individual liberty,” the former Mr. West declares.

“The next president will be tasked with repairing the damage of the past eight years and restoring America to greatness - so we must choose him or her carefully.”