As the Conservative Political Action Conference gathers for its annual meeting this weekend, one of the highlight events is expected to be its presidential straw poll, which reflects a wide open field of possible GOP 2016 nominees.
The poll, sponsored by The Washington Times and conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, lists 23 names, including Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio to former Sen. Rick Santorum, who ran for president last year.
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Also included are some newcomers to the national stage, including neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who rallied conservatives when he criticized the nation's tax system, the handling of the national debt, and the country's healthcare system at the recent National Prayer Breakfast - all within earshot of President Barack Obama.
The list also includes the names of two popular GOP governors who were not invited to this year's CPAC festivities - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Results of the straw poll will be released on Saturday at the end of the three day gathering of the estimated 8,000 conservatives expected to attend.
The names on the presidential straw poll ballot are:
- New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte
- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
- Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- Neurosurgeon Ben Carson
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
- Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich
- New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez
- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell
- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry
- Oho Sen. Rob Portman
- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
- Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan
- Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum
- South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott
- South Dakota Sen. John Thune
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
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