Why not, indeed? Why should Iowa and New Hampshire have all the fun?
Here's the ballot:
*also scheduled to speak
That's a deep pool. But what? No Crist, no Barbour, no Thune?
Normally, I'd add the usual caveats that I include in any 2012 polling post. But in this case, I find this straw poll to be a fairly significant early indicator of how the 2012 field is going to shape up.
"The 2012 presidential primaries may be several years away but many value voters are already surveying the field of possible candidates," said Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins. "This straw poll is an early test for possible presidential contenders who have shown leadership on the major issues facing our country."It's no mistake that Mitt Romney will be speaking; this is a group he is absolutely going to have to convince of his conservative bona fides in some respects in order to gain their vote in just more than three years time. He is playing the current period correctly by staking out a firm, fiscally conservative line, but this is a group he will need if he is to be the frontrunner heading into the 2012 primaries. Things looked good on paper for Romney in 2008 as well, but it didn't work out.
One additional note we should make is that there are a few folks on the ballot that have been discussed in the context of splitting this segment of the Republican primary voting bloc in an early state like Iowa; making a Romney victory there more likely. It will be interesting also to see if the Sarah Palins and Mike Huckabees and Rick Santorums of the list split a sizable chunk of the vote in any noticeable way.
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