Is CPAC Really Relevant?

This weekend conservatives from across the country attended the annual CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) conference in DC to hear conservative political speakers and vote in the CPAC presidential straw poll. Here are the voting results:
  • 30% - Texas Congressman Ron Paul;
  • 23% - Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney;
  • 06% - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie;
    06% - Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson;
  • 05% - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich;
  • 04% - Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty;
    04% - Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann;
  • 04% - Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels;
  • 03% - Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin;
  • 02% - Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
A few observations about the list of conservative candidates:
  • I sadly agree with Donal Trump (a CPAC Speaker) when he says that Ron Paul cannot win the nomination. Paul looks great on paper but does not possess the charisma or the appeal to Independent voters to win.
  • Mitt Romney has not been able to emerge from the Ron Paul shadow. He has been running for president for a long time and got a mere 23% - seems like he would have done better with his base. Yet he would probably do better with Independents.
  • A lot of these folks have the stigma of being "former". I get the impression that some of these are all about speaking engagements, appearing on talk shows and running for the presidency. Not sure that anyone takes the "formers" seriously.
  • No clear electable candidate has really emerged from the pack. Conservatives are splintered and the single digit percentages reflect it.
As a conservative I am not really excited about any of these candidates. I like Governor Chris Christie but have heard him say on many occasions that he will definitely not run in 2012. So, in light of all this, I have to wonder: "Is CPAC Really Relevant?"

What do you think? Will conservatives simply splinter around candidates that cannot win?


  1. Another interpretation of that poll? 30% who are die-hard supporters and showed up just to vote for Ron Paul, and 70% who would vote for anyone BUT Ron Paul.

    There will be some who find the consensus candidate too liberal/conservative depending on their personal views, but I believe when the time comes, the process will produce a candidate the majority will rally around.

  2. "Will conservatives simply splinter around candidates that cannot win?"

    I can only hope.

  3. The poll doesn't mean much but the speeches and networking may mean something.



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