Carson, Walker take top spots in Southern straw poll

strong>OKLAHOMA CITY — Dr. Ben Carson won the straw poll at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, but Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finished a strong second.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who missed the the event due to Senate votes, finished third.

Carson received 25.4 percent of the vote to Walker's 20.5 percent. Cruz took 16.6 percent, with no other candidates cracking double digits. This includes big-name likely contenders who spoke to attendees, like Chris Christie (5.3 percent) and Jeb Bush (4.9 percent).

Carson supporters had a heavy presence at the conference, with many wearing campaign T-shirts and carrying a life-sized cardboard cutout of the candidate. Their organization paid off with a strong showing from voters who came from states outside Oklahoma. Walker actually got the most votes from Oklahomans, according to conference organizers.