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CPAC 2011: Will You be Watching?

CPAC 2011 (Conservative Political Action Conference) takes place this weekend (Feb. 10-12) in Washington, D.C.  In case you don’t know what CPAC is, CPAC is an annual event put on by The American Conservative Union.  It’s a mixture of speeches, banquets, straw polls and book signings- all highlighting the Conservative movement.

In past years, you’ve heard some of the CPAC speeches on KFYO, including Rush Limbaugh’s Keynote in 2009.

Rush Limbaugh CPAC 2009 (cpac.org)

This year’s CPAC features many different conservatives, including a 90-minute block on Friday in the main ballroom that should be very entertaining.  At 3:30p EST/ 2:30p CST Rep. Ron Paul will take the stage.  He will then be followed at 4pm EST/ 3pm CST by Texas Governor Rick Perry and then Herman Cain follows Governor Perry at 4:30p EST/ 3:30p CST.

Herman Cain, who has filled in for Sean Hannity & Neal Boortz over the years, left his radio show at WSB  a few weeks ago to form a Presidential Exploratory Committee.

Other notable speakers for CPAC 2011 include Rep. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin, Ann Coulter, Rep. Michelle Bachmann (the opening speaker today), Wayne LaPierre from the NRA, Rep. Connie Mack IV from Florida, Mitt Romney and the Closing Speaker, Rep. Allen West from Florida.

Some political diehards like to use the CPAC Straw Poll for Republican Presidential Candidate as a barometer predicting future GOP nominees.  However, as history has shown the CPAC Straw Poll is not a great indicator.  Here are some past years’ results:

1976  Ronald Reagan
1980  Ronald Reagan
1984  Ronald Reagan
1986  Jack Kemp
1987  Jack Kemp
1993  Jack Kemp
1998  Steve Forbes
1999  Gary Bauer
2000  George W. Bush
2005  Rudy Giuliani
2006  George Allen
2007- 2009  Mitt Romney
2010  Ron Paul

Let’s look at CPAC during Presidential Election years.  In 1980, 1984 & 2000 the Straw Poll correctly picked the GOP candidate.  But in 1976 & 2008 the Straw Poll winner didn’t win the GOP nomination.  The omission of the years 1988, 1992 & 1996 is not an oversight on my part.  In my research on the Internet, I couldn’t find Straw Poll winners for those three consecutive Presidential Election years.   If CPAC Straw Polls weren’t held during those years, it’s no surprise that the conservative movement floundered during that period of time.

Getting back to the title of this post.  Will you be watching or following CPAC this weekend?  You can watch the videos of CPAC 2011 on their website ( http://video.cpac.org/ ), but you have to register for a free CPAC account.  I will be following the reaction to Governor Perry, Herman Cain and Rep. Paul Ryan’s speeches.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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