The Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) is a political event held in the Southern United States before each presidential election. The event is attended by Republican Partyactivists, elected officials, and candidates for office. It has featured every major Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan, and is best known for its presidential straw poll, which receives national media attention. In 2011, the event was dubbed the Republican Leadership Conference before restoring its original name for 2012.
The 2014 Republican Leadership Conference was held in New Orleans, and featured various speakers such as RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Businessman Donald Trump, Louisiana Senator David Vitter, Colonel and former Congressman Allen West, former US Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Utah Senator Mike Lee, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Businessman and former Presidential candidate Herman Cain, Former Pennsylvania Senator and former Presidential candidate Rick Santorum, Louisiana Congressman Bill Cassidy, Congresswoman and former Presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann, and Texas Governor and former Presidential candidate Rick Perry.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz narrowly won the 2014 straw poll, barely defeating Dr. Ben Carson. Senator Rand Paul came in a distant third, while former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Texas Governor Rick Perry rounded out the top 5.