Sen. Ted Cruz trounced the competition in the presidential straw poll at the 2013 Values Voters Summit, with Dr. Ben Carson and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum coming in a distant second and third places — highlighting how Mr. Cruz has become a rock star with religious conservatives.

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, which hosted the three—day event, announced that Mr. Cruz won 42 percent of the vote, while Mr. Carson and Mr. Santorum each captured 13 percent.

“I just spoke with Senator Cruz and he wanted me to convey to you his deep appreciation for your enthusiastic and warm welcome yesterday — and that he was very grateful to know that there are Americans across the country who are standing with him as he stands for your values here in Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Perkins said.