Paul is a heavy favorite to win the CPAC 2016 presidential straw poll, the results of which will be announced later Saturday.

“Americans are craving conviction and they’re craving someone that will stand up for principle,” said R.J. Robinson, 32, as he handed out flyers in the main hall. “And Rand Paul gave that to them.”…

“I’ve been very surprised, actually,” said Dan Whitfield, 30, a writer who lives in D.C. “I wasn’t really looking forward to CPAC this year, I really wasn’t, but I think the turning point was Rand’s speech.”

Christopher Farr, 21, a student at the University of Georgia, said he felt Paul’s speech was especially geared toward younger Republicans in the audience — a point underscored by Paul’s own use of the phrase “Facebook generation.”

“From Rand in particular, I got a sense of a youth-centric message,” he said, naming Paul’s and Rubio’s speeches as his two favorites.