Read below for the results, all 17 candidates were on the ballot.
Donald Trump took his Republican presidential campaign to Tennessee Saturday, winning the Nashville Straw Poll at the annual convention of the tea party-backed National Federation of Republican Assemblies.
Trump won 52 percent of the 420 votes cast. All 17 candidates were on the ballot.
Here were the top vote-getters:
- Trump: 220 votes.
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: 100 votes.
- Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson: 46 votes.
Two other candidates were far behind, but in double digits: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, with 15 votes, and former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina, with 11 votes. All other candidates were in single digits, with five receiving no votes at all from the tea party members.
In his morning speech, the billionaire businessman praised the tea party’s efforts to hold the federal government accountable and discussed how the group has been discredited by the Republican establishment.
“You have not been treated fairly,” Trump said. “People talk about the tea party, and you talk about being marginalized?
“At least I have a microphone, where I can fight back. You people don’t.
“The tea party people are incredible people,” Trump added. “These are people who work hard and love the country and they get beat up all the time by the media.”
He also slammed candidate Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, in discussing foreign policy.
“I said don’t go into Iraq, even though I’m a very militaristic person,” Trump told the crowd, according to Politico. “I’m much more militaristic than Bush, even the brother.”
He added that he deserved credit for predicting the war’s disastrous outcome.
“Normally I wouldn’t say this, but I need your frickin’ votes, you understand that?” Trump said.
The developer also called for law and order, Politic reports, blasting the rioting in Baltimore in April after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.
“The police were not allowed to protect people,” Trump said. “We have to be tough. We have to be smart … I know cities where police are afraid to even talk to people.”