OCEAN SHORES — For Republicans coming off a tough year, it’s never too soon to think about the next election.
In one of the first straw polls of the 2016 presidential race, Washington state Republicans on Sunday chose Marco Rubio as their (very) early choice for the party’s nomination.
Rubio, a first-term senator from Florida, earned 37.4 percent of the vote, organizers at this year’s Roanoke Conference announced.
Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was second with 9.9 percent, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (who last week urged the GOP to stop being “the stupid party”) got 8.2 percent.
Daniels won the straw poll in 2011. Last year, eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney won.
This year, the fourth annual conference brought some 450 Republican candidates, strategists, lobbyists and activists to the Ocean Shores Convention Center.
The weekend conference included panels on education, immigration and the environment, as well as general speeches and discussions about the future of the party.