The poll, sponsored by The Washington Times and conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, gave Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican senator from Kentucky, 25 percent of the vote of 2,930 attendees at the 40th annual CPAC gathering. Rubio, the Tea Party-backed GOP senator from Florida, received 23 percent.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who ran for president in 2012, got 8 percent, followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who wasn't invited to speak at the conference, at 7 percent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2012, at 6 percent, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 5 percent.
More than 60 names were either listed or written in, CPAC said in a release posted on its website.
"We convened thousands of energized conservatives today at this 40th annual National CPAC 2013 from across the entire country," American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas said. "It's been a long-standing and fun tradition at CPAC National as well as our regional CPACs to poll the attendees and get their opinion on a number of important issues."