Donald Trump may or may not win Saturday’s Kansas Republican presidential caucus, but he did win a straw poll of GOP voters conducted by Sen. Jerry Moran’s re-election campaign over the past month.
Trump, a New York businessman who hasn’t held elected office, got 5,167 votes, to 3,438 votes for the second-place finisher, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Marco Rubio placed third with 1,826 votes. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the only other candidate still actively campaigning, placed fifth among the candidates with 625 votes.
Kasich trailed retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who got 1,444 votes. Carson dropped out of the race after a poor showing in the Super Tuesday primaries this week.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Kasich also trailed “undecided,” which got 802 votes.
The straw poll, which started Jan. 29, included 11 candidates, eight of whom have since dropped out.
Behind Kasich were departed candidates Sen. Rand Paul, 285 votes; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 210; former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, 149; and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 139.
Trailing the pack were the last two winners of the Kansas Republican presidential caucus.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the 2008 winner, got 68 votes in the straw poll. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, the 2012 winner, finished last with 28 votes.
Moran has not endorsed a candidate in the caucus, but ran the straw poll through his campaign website to gauge how the state’s Republicans felt about the individuals competing for the party’s presidential nomination.
The results are not scientific because participants selected themselves, rather than being a random sampling of voters.
In addition, supporters of candidates who have dropped out will have shifted to other candidates, and many voted before a concerted campaign to “stop Trump” was launched in the past couple of weeks.