5 New Faces for U.S. President in Annual Poll of Conservative Activists

on February 10 2011 4:41 PM
  • Michele Bachmann
    U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. REUTERS
  • Herman Cain
    Herman Cain had been a radio host for the last three years in Atlanta until announcing a decision to explore a possible presidential candidacy. He had an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in Georgia in 2004. In the 1990s, Cain served at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City as a chairman and deputy chairman from 1994 to 1996. He also headed the National Restaurant Association in that decade. In the 1980s, Cain held executive roles within the Pillsbury company, taking charge of various parts of the company, including becoming the head of the Godfather’s Pizza chain and helping turn around a portion of the company’s Burger King restaurants. Handout
  • Chris Christie
    Chris Christie, who has said he will not run in the 2012 presidential election, is the current governor of New Jersey, having been elected in 2010. Prior to that, he served as a U.S. prosecutor in the state from 2002 to 2008. Prior to that, Christie served as a lobbyist for a variety of firms. During the 1990s, he held a position as a Freeholder for Morris County, New jersey and had a failed attempt for a seat on the New Jersey general Assembly. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he served as a lawyer in the law firm of Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci. Office of Chris Christie
  • Gary Johnson
    Gary Johnson served as governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. He currently serves on the board of directors of Students for Sensible Drug policy and Students for Liberty. Prior to that he ran Big J Enterprises, a construction company he founded in 1976. The company grew to be a multi-million dollar company with more than 1,000 people by 1994, according to Johnson’s website. Our America Intitiative
  • Andy Murray, Japan Open
    Murray of Britain hits a return to Baghdatis of Cyprus during the Japan Open tennis championships in Tokyo. Picture - Reuters.
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Five new Republican faces for a possible run for the U.S. presidency in 2012 are in this year's straw poll of thousands of conservative activists who have made their annual trek to Washington this week.

Registered participants in the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington will have a chance to vote for their favorites for the 2012 election, as momentum builds for the formal process of selecting a Republican nominee.

Whoever is ultimately chosen at next year's Republican National Convention will almost certainly face off against President Barack Obama, the expected Democratic Party nominee.

Bumper stickers with conservative messages are available at a display booth at the Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC) in Washington February 10, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque


In 2010, nearly 2,400 registrants voted.

Candidates from last year's poll also in this year's ballot are Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and current South Dakota Sen. John Thune.

Nearly half the registrants were students in 2010, about one third were classified as individual registrants and the most of the rest were linked to CPAC sponsors.

The winner of the 2010 straw poll was Rep. Ron Paul R-TX, followed by three-time winner Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, came in third.

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