- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 3, 2016

DENVER — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won Sunday’s Republican vice presidential straw poll of attendees at the Western Conservative Summit.

Mr. Gingrich, who took 194 votes, for 20 percent of the 985 votes cast, was followed by Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, who spoke Saturday at the three-day conference and took 148 votes, or 15 percent.

Rounding out the top five were three former Republican presidential candidates: ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

The seventh annual summit usually holds a presidential straw poll but switched this year after businessman Donald Trump effectively cinched the nomination in May. He has not yet announced his choice for vice president.

“The Western Conservative Summit straw poll is a test of 2016 potential vice presidential preferences among conservatives in Colorado and the Western states,” said Jeff Hunt, director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, which hosted the event.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick, received only 15 votes, while former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took 41 votes.

Mr. Trump addressed the crowd Friday in his first campaign stop in Colorado. In addition to Mr. Cotton, Mrs. Fiorina and Mrs. Palin also spoke at the conference, which drew more than 4,000 registered attendees to the Colorado Convention Center.

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