Conservatives Gather in Washington, DC
2005 Conservative Political Action Conference, February 17-19, 2005
Feb. 18, 2005--CPAC bills itself as "the country's oldest and largest annual gathering of grassroots conservatives."  In addition to listening to speeches by conservative leaders such as Vice President Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Ann Coulter, attendees could talk to representatives of dozens of conservative groups at booths in the exhibit area. 

Less than a month into President Bush's second term some are already giving thought to the 2008 presidential race.  CPAC's straw poll lists 15 possible candidates for the 2008 Republican nominee, comprising 5 Senators, 7 Governors,  2 former elected officials, and the Secretary of State.  The National Federation of Republican Assemblies' straw poll (below) lists 14 prospects, comprising 5 Senators, 4 Governors, 1 congressman, 3 former elected officials, and the Secretary of State.  Of those mentioned as presidential prospects, Senator George Allen (VA), former Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rep. Mick Pence (IN) spoke at the conference.  The non-candidacy of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice showed the most visibility as a couple of advocates distributed hundreds of buttons and bumper stickers to conference attendees.
Republican Presidential Prospects: February 2005
[actual straw poll ballot lists candidates in random order]
1.  VA Senator George Allen
2.  MS Governor Haley Barbour
3.  Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist
4.  Former Speaker Newt Gingrich
5.  Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani
6.  NE Senator Chuck Hagel
7.  AR Governor Mike Huckabee
8.  AZ Senator John McCain
9.  CO Governor Bill Owens
10.  NY Governor George Pataki
11.  MN Governor Tim Pawlenty
12.  Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice
13.  MA Governor Mitt Romney
14.  SC Governor Mark Sanford
15.  PA Senator Rick Santorum
16.  Other__
George Allen
Jeb Bush
Bill Frist
Newt Gingrich
Rudy Giuliani
Chuck Hagel
John McCain
Bill Owens
Mike Pence
Condoleezza Rice
Mitt Romney
Rick Santorum
Arnold Schwarzenegger
J.C. Watts


Copyright © 2005  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.