Is It 2012 Already?

By Teddy Davis

Feb 26, 2009 11:20am

ABC News’ Teddy Davis reports: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., delivered the keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2009. CPAC is holding the first Republican straw poll of the 2012 campaign.
Ferdous Al-Faruque/ ABC News The first Republican straw poll of the 2012 campaign got underway Thursday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. Before the three-day gathering of conservative activists began, the straw poll’s creator, Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates, would not release its wording.

But we’ve now got our hands on it. As conference attendees walk into the Omni Shoreham Hotel ballroom in Washington, DC, they are invited to fill out a questionnaire. The presidential preference question asks: "Thinking ahead to the 2012 Presidential election, who would you vote for as the next Republican nominee for President?" It then lists ten options in alphabetical order: (1) Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, (2) former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, (3) former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, (4) former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, (5) Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, (6) Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, (7) Texas Rep. Ron Paul, (8) Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, (9) former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and (10) South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. Conference attendees are also invited to write in someone else or to indicate that they are undecided. The questionnaire also asks conference attendees to say whether they are "generally satisfied" with the field of potential candidates or whether they "wish the GOP had a better field of potential candidates." Six of the 10 candidates being tested for 2012 are appearing at CPAC: Gingrich, Huckabee, Paul, Pawlenty, Romney, and Sanford. The other four — Crist, Giuliani, Jindal, and Palin — are not attending. Straw Poll results will be announced on Saturday at 4:30 pm ET.

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