SNEAK PEEK: Primaries: Cajun Style


Voters head to the polls in Louisiana Saturday and gather for caucuses in four states and the Virgin Islands.

There are 74 delegates at stake on the Republican side on Saturday and 161 at stake on the Democratic side.

The Washington State caucuses are the big jackpot for the Democrats, with 78 delegates at stake. Barack Obama picked up a key endorsement from Gov. Christine Gregoire today but Hillary Clinton has the backing of the state's two female senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.

The calendar and contests don't favor Clinton, who has admitted to having difficulties in caucuses, which are more time-demanding and require great passion of supporters, ABC News' Eloise Harper reports. Clinton has lost eight out of the last nine such contests and said in recent press availability that caucuses draw the "activists" from campaigns and are not the most democratic process.

Saturday it's Mike Huckabee's turn to address the conservatives at CPAC, on the day of the convention's straw poll. Remember it was Huckabee who wowed over the audience at the Family Research Council's Values Voters summit and went on to finish a close second to Mitt Romney in the straw poll there.

The straw poll is, of course, non-binding and largely meaningless and the results should not be read as representative of the conservative movement writ large. However the results may be something to keep in your inbox and pull up again if/when Huckabee's name is floated as a vice presidential candidate.

Huckabee has performed well in southern states and among conservative, evangelical voters. With Romney out of the race, the audience politely took in what McCain had to say this week but he didn't exactly bring down the house. Huckabee's performance tomorrow could help him plant his name firmly on the GOP Veepstakes list.

This year's CPAC presidential preference straw poll will have a slightly different twist than last year's poll. The first question on the ballot is a simple question of whom voters would choose if the election were held today.

In addition to the generic preference question, there will be follow up questions asking what voters would do on Election Day if McCain, Romney or Huckabee are the GOP nominee.

CPAC STRAW POLL QUESTIONS 1. If the election were held today to decide the Republican presidential nominee for whom would you vote?


2. If John McCain is the Republican nominee for president in 2008 - which of the following will you personally do on election day?

Vote for McCain
Vote for someone else
Won't vote

This question is repeated for Romney and Huckabee, if they were the Republican nominee, which given the current delegate estimate, is not looking likely for Huckabee.

The straw poll results will be announced on Saturday at 4:30 pm ET by David Keene.

Romney won the CPAC presidential preference straw poll last year when the question was "Who would be your FIRST choice to be the Republican Nominee for President in 2008?" Romney edged Giuliani, 21-17. The now presumptive nominee, McCain, came in fifth with 12 percent.

Saturday's line up: 5:00 PM ET POLL CLOSING

WASHINGTON- Republican Caucuses

Polls open: 4:00 pm ET
Polls close: 5:00 pm ET
18 delegates at stake, proportional

WASHINGTON- Democratic Caucuses

Polls open: 4:30 pm ET
Polls close: 5:00 pm ET
78 delegates at stake, proportional

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