He wasn't in attendance, but U.S. Sen. Rand Paul took first place in the straw poll conducted at this weekend's Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua.
Paul received 15 percent of the vote, followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 13 percent. Conservative speaker and renowned neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker all received 11 percent in the first-ever Northeast Republican Presidential Opinion Survey.
Other prominent Republicans who spoke at the two-day conference included Kelly Ayotte, Scott Brown, Bobby Jindal and Pete King. Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu and conservative businesswoman Carly Fiorina were scheduled to give the keynote address to close the conference on Saturday night.