February 26th, 2009
02:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Conservatives begin voting on their 2012 favorite

John McCain finished fifth in the 2007 CPAC Straw Poll.
John McCain finished fifth in the 2007 CPAC Straw Poll.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - One of the highlights of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference will be the annual CPAC Straw Poll, in which conference attendees will vote on which politician should win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. The results to be released on Saturday, but balloting at the conference has already begun.

So who’s on this year’s ballot? A host of GOP rising stars, each of whom represent a different path for the party.

Here are the choices: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, and “Undecided.” There’s also space on the ballot for a write-in-candidate.

The results, culled from the party’s most resolute activists, could go a long way in shoring up a presidential hopeful’s conservative resume, as was the case with Romney when he won the straw poll in 2007 in 2008. But the eventual Republican nominee – Sen. John McCain - finished fifth in the 2007 vote, and lost to Romney in 2008 as conservatives at the conference expressed frustration that the senate maverick was close to cinching up the nomination.

CPAC attendees will also be able to vote on their approval of President Obama and Republicans in Congress.


Filed under: 2012
soundoff (434 Responses)
  1. Mark

    To Angie in PA: Im in Florida, what has Crist done that is so wonderful? Your in PA, Im in Florida, and I cannot tell you one thing he has done to help the people of Florida! Enlighten me!

    February 26, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. ME AT FL

    What a joke!!!!! If this is their best, it will be a landslide of us Dems in 2012.!! Ha!! Ha!!

    February 26, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. janey

    oh yeah i forgot to mention that Bill Clinton was a Rhodes scholar too. so I guess my argument does not work,

    February 26, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. Inexperience required

    Judging by most of these posts we have much to fear.

    February 26, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. still hoping

    as long as the dimocrats keep Pelosi and Reid in power, and obama keeps up the bad decisions, the republicans will be fine in 2012.

    All this cockiness will make the victory even sweeter in 2012.

    February 26, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. Erik from Real Pennsylvania

    Dear CPAC,

    Please, oh pretty please support Sarah Palin for the 2012 Republican nomination. After his speech the other night, Bobby Jindal would clearly make an excellent running mate for her.

    Sincerely,

    The Democrats

    February 26, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Mariann Pepitone

    Mickie: By the time Obama's term is up this country might be in the biggest depression since 1929. Of course, his approval rating is falling and it will fall more if he bails more millionaires out. Get a grip on life. Now is the time for the republicans to start thinking ahead. After all before Obama ran for the senate he wasn't a community organizer he was organizing himself to run for the senate. And didn't he miss 140 days as a senator? Yes, he was studying to run for the presidency. And as far as the economy is concerned he should ask the advice of Bill Clinton.

    February 26, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Maggie from Virginia

    Maybe if a republican tried running on American values instead of conservative values, they'll have a shot. Times have changed.

    February 26, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Mariann Pepitone

    I made two comments to Mickie and I don't see them on the board. Do you have a problem with what I said in those comments? Comment boards are for to give your opinion of whoever as long as you think its the truth.

    February 26, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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