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.