Potential 2016 GOP Hopefuls Flock to Iowa Freedom Summit

Carson, Santorum, Cruz, Perry, Christie, Walker, Huckabee among big names going.

Who’s going?

Who’s not going?

Why is Steve King so important?

King may have views on issues like immigration that some Republicans find unhelpful -- he infamously tweeted that Michele Obama brought a “deportable” to the State of the Union address -- but he’s fashioned himself a conservative kingmaker who brings with him a slew of caucus voters. King held a similar forum in 2011 and has also hosted many lawmakers at his annual pheasant hunt, including Christie and Cruz. King is branding this event as “a launch point for conservative ideas as we head towards 2016.”

So what exactly is going to happen?

The event starts at 9 a.m., and each guest will appear individually and speak for several minutes. The conversation will, according to the event’s Web page, “focus on how we can get America back on track by focusing on our core conservative principles of pro-growth economics, social conservatism and a strong national defense.” But apparently, there won’t be too much opportunity to meet potential caucus-goers: Citing scheduling constraints, the website said “there will not be an opportunity to interact (shake hands, autographs, etc.) with the featured speakers.”

Is King the only host?

So, is this the start of the 2016 election?

It sure looks like it -- even if none of the attendees have actually declared they’re running for president yet. But attending this event, and kissing the ring of King and his fellow Iowa conservatives, is a clear way for future candidates to start telegraphing their intent and to start trying to secure caucus votes.

ABC's Arlette Saenz contributed to this report.

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