Conservative Political Action Conference
|Conservative Political Action Conference|
The official logo for CPAC 2015
|Dates||March (dates vary)|
|Location(s)||National Harbor, Maryland, U.S.|
|Organized by||American Conservative Union|
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC; // SEE-pak) is an annual political conference attended by conservative activists and elected officials from across the United States. CPAC is hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU). More than 100 other organizations contribute in various ways.
In 2011, ACU took CPAC on the road with its first Regional CPAC in Orlando, Florida. Since then ACU has hosted regional CPACs in Chicago, Denver, St. Louis, and San Diego. Political front runners take the stage at this convention.
Speakers have included Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Pat Buchanan, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tony Snow, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Allen West, Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, and other conservative public figures.
The conference was founded in 1973 by the American Conservative Union and Young Americans for Freedom as a small gathering of dedicated conservatives. The 2010 CPAC featured co-sponsorship for the first time from the John Birch Society and GOProud. The Ronald Reagan Award was given to the Tea Party movement, which marked the first time it was ever given to a group instead of an individual. The 2011 CPAC was Donald Trump's first speaking appearance at CPAC. His appearance at CPAC was organized by GOProud, in conjunction with GOPround supporter Roger Stone, who was close with Trump. GOPround pushed for a write-in campaign for Donald Trump at CPAC's presidential straw poll. Christopher R. Barron, co-founder of GOProud who would later not only endorse Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, but also launch LGBT for Trump, said he "would love to see Mr. Trump run for president." For the 2012 CPAC conference, the ACU board voted to not invite GOProud or the John Birch Society to the 2012 conference. The 2011 CPAC speech Trump gave is credited for helping kick-start his political career within the Republican Party. The 2015 CPAC featured Jamila Bey who became the first atheist activist to address CPAC's annual meeting. The 2016 CPAC featured co-sponsorship for the first time from the Log Cabin Republicans.
The annual CPAC straw poll vote traditionally serves as a barometer for the feelings of the conservative movement. During the conference, attendees are encouraged to fill out a survey that asks questions on a variety of issues. The questions regarding the most popular possible presidential candidates are the most widely reported. One component of CPAC is evaluating conservative candidates for president, and the straw poll serves generally to quantify conservative opinion.
|Year||Straw Poll Winner||% of Votes||Second Place||% of Votes|
|1976||Ronald Reagan||--||George Wallace||--|
|1986||Jack Kemp||--||George H.W. Bush||--|
|1987||Jack Kemp||68%||Patrick Buchanan||9%|
|1995||Phil Gramm||40%||Bob Dole||12%|
|1998||Steve Forbes||23%||George W. Bush||10%|
|1999||Gary Bauer||28%||George W. Bush||24%|
|2000||George W. Bush||42%||Alan Keyes||23%|
|2005||Rudy Giuliani||19%||Condoleezza Rice||18%|
|2006||George Allen||22%||John McCain||20%|
|2007||Mitt Romney||21%||Rudy Giuliani||17%|
|2008||Mitt Romney||35%||John McCain||34%|
|2009||Mitt Romney||20%||Bobby Jindal||14%|
|2010||Ron Paul||31%||Mitt Romney||22%|
|2011||Ron Paul||30%||Mitt Romney||23%|
|2012||Mitt Romney||38%||Rick Santorum||31%|
|2013||Rand Paul||25%||Marco Rubio||23%|
|2014||Rand Paul||31%||Ted Cruz||11%|
|2015||Rand Paul||26%||Scott Walker||21%|
|2016||Ted Cruz||40%||Marco Rubio||30%|
Overall, Mitt Romney holds the record of winning more CPAC straw polls than any other individual, with four. Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp and Rand Paul follow with three consecutive wins each, followed by Ron Paul with two wins. Of these five, the Pauls are the only two to win more than one straw poll, yet never appear on a Republican presidential ticket in any election.
Every year there are several awards given to notable conservatives. Although the exact lineup of awards varies, five awards are usually presented:
- The "Ronald Reagan Award" is the highest award given at CPAC. It is awarded to dedicated activists, regardless of how high their profile may be on a national scale. ACU director David Keene described the award in 2008: "The winners of this award, our highest honor, are not household names, but the men and women working in the trenches who sacrifice and, in so doing, set an example for others." This award is different from the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award, which is not affiliated with CPAC.
- The "Jeane Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award" is presented annually in honor of Jeane Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick was affiliated with the American Conservative Union for many years.
- "Defender of the Constitution Award"
- The "Blogger of the Year Award" is given to a leading conservative member of the blogosphere.
- The "Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award" is named after the late actor and political activist Charlton Heston.
The 2016 CPAC sponsors were the following:
- The Heritage Foundation
- National Rifle Association
- One America News Network
- The Washington Times
- Cobalt Media Group
- Conservative Book Club
- The Daily Signal
- Red Alert Politics
- Regnery Publishing
- Townhall Media
- The Washington Examiner
- The Weekly Standard
- Cambridge Analytica
- Center for Security Policy
- Conservative Review
- The Japanese Conservative Union
- Judicial Watch
- Leadership Institute
- Liberty HealthShare
- National Review
- Tea Party Patriots
- The Blaze
- Turning Point USA
- The Young Messiah
- Charles Koch Institute
- College Republican National Committee
- Forthright Strategy
- HSP Direct
- National Shooting Sports Foundation
- Right on Crime
- 60 Plus
- Americans United for Life
- Bill of Rights Institute
- Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute
- Energy For A Rising Generation
- Freedom Alliance
- Freedom Capital
- Future Female Leaders
- The Graduate School of Political Management
- The Heartland Institute
- Let Freedom Ring
- Liftable Media
- Life Site
- Log Cabin Republicans
- Niskanen Center
- Standing United
- Threshold Editions
- Tradition Family Property
- tru Politics
- Win Ben Win!
- Viguerie Political Lists
- Young America's Foundation
The 2016 CPAC exhibitors were the following:
- Alliance for American Manufacturing
- American Enterprise Institute
- American Majority
- American Petroleum Institute
- Americans for Prosperity
- Aspen Designs
- Atheist Voter
- Cato Institute
- Capital Research Center
- Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty
- Faith and Freedom Coalition
- Family Research Council
- Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
- The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
- George Mason University School of Law
- Liberty University Helms School of Government
- The Horn News
- Liberty University School of Law
- National Review Institute
- National Taxpayers Union
- National Journalism Center
- Network of enlightened Women
- Opportunity Lives
- Oxford Study Abroad Programme
- Patriot Mobile
- Pepperdine University School of Public Policy
- Photofabrication Engineering, Inc.
- Poll Makers
- Radio America
- The Reagan Ranch
- Red State Talk Radio
- Regent University
- Save the Inventor
- Second Amendment Foundation
- Spark Freedom
- Steven Woolfe, MEP
- Susan B. Anthony List
- Young Americans for Freedom
- Young Americans for Liberty
- "CPAC 2015 Straw Poll: Rand Paul wins again – but Scott Walker is surging". The Washington Times. 2015-02-28. Retrieved 2015-08-16.
- Kilpatrick, James J. (1977-02-10). "Tired of the cold". Bangor Daily News. Washington Star Syndicate. p. 12. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- Evans, M. Stanton (1979-02-24). "CPAC: Barometer of the Right". The Hour. Norwalk, Conn. Los Angeles Times Syndicate. p. 4. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- "Reagan Gives Conservatives A Pep Talk". 1986-01-31. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- Turnbull, Jessica (2008-02-14). "Groups travel to conference". The Daily Collegian. State College, Pa. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- Goldberg, Michelle (2003-02-04). "Shock troops for Bush". Salon. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- Walters, Robert (1974-01-28). "Buchanan: A Dissenting View". St. Petersburg Times. Washington Star-News Service. p. 3-A. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
- Gillman, Todd J. (2011-02-11). "Texas Rep. Ron Paul gets cheers at conservative conference, remains mum about Senate, presidential ambitions". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- Parsons, Christi (2010-02-21). "Glenn Beck to Republican Party: Repent". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- "Rush Limbaugh calls on conservatives to take back nation". CNN.com. 2009-02-28. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- Montopoli, Brian (2011-02-09). "Allen West Gets CPAC Keynote Slot". CBSNews.com. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- Murray, Mark. "The 'exceptional' debate". NBCNews.com. 2010-02-22. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- The Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com. "In CPAC speech, Trump hints of White House bid". The Washingtion Times.
- Diamond, Sara (1995) . Roads to dominion: right-wing movements and political power in the United States (2 ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press. pp. 128, 138, 146, 198, 210, 212, 285, 289, 327. ISBN 0-89862-862-8
- Wilcox, Derk Arend (2000). The right guide: a guide to conservative, free-market, and right-of-center organizations. United States of America: Economics America, Inc. p. 43. ISBN 9780914169062.
- CPAC Reagan Award Winner flashreport.org
- Karl, Jonathan (February 19, 2010). "Far-Right John Birch Society 2010". ABC News. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- GOProud at CPAC creates controversy, calls for boycotts, hotair.com, December 16, 2009
- "GOProud and Birchers ousted as CPAC co-sponsors (David Horowitz survives vote)". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
- GOProud Leads ‘Trump In 2012’ Movement At CPAC
- Gay GOProud Founder Chris Barron Launches Loathsome ‘LGBT for Trump’ Campaign: WATCH
- Gay conservatives who helped kickstart Trump's GOP career have serious regrets
- "In a first, atheist activist addresses conservative conference". The Washington Post. 2012-12-14. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
- ‘Smooth sailing’ for gay Republicans at CPAC
- Conservatives drop third party idea, attempt to win nomination for Reagan https://news.google.com February 17, 1976
- "Conservatives abandon talk of a third party, throw their support behind Reagan". The Associated Press. February 16, 1976. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
- President Is 'Saving Best Stuff for Last Act' https://news.google.com Gadsden Times – Feb 2, 1986
- Gailey, Phil (February 1, 1986). "G.O.P. Strategists Clash Over a Presidential Poll". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331
- President Is 'Saving Best Stuff for Last Act' https://news.google.com Schenectady Gazette - Feb 21, 1987
- "Republican Right Wing Gathers To Bash Clinton, Look to 1996 Conservatives meet in record numbers to find that there is life – and echoes of past unity – after the presidency". The Christian Science Monitor. 22 February 1993. ISSN 0882-7729.
- Gramm gets support in conservative straw poll http://nl.newsbank.com February 12, 1995
- Forbes tops Bush in presidential straw poll of conservatives; Buchanan, Gingrich tie for third http://nl.newsbank.com February 1, 1998
- Neal, Terry M. (31 January 1999). "Bauer Planning Steps for Presidential Bid". Washington DC: Washington Post Company. p. A2. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
- "Conservative activist Bauer runs for president". Life Advocate. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
- "Bush wins conservative poll; Forbes supporters impressed; Governor wins 42 percent, Keyes second at 23 percent". Washington Post Company. 23 January 2000. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
- "Bracing for the worst". The Washington Times. 23 February 2005. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
- Danielle Kurtzleben (11 February 2011). "CPAC Straw Poll Not Predictive of Eventual Nominee". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Sam Stein (31 March 2009). "Romney Wins CPAC Poll, Palin Tied For Third". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Brenda Shepard; Mark Murray (21 February 2010). "Ron Paul wins CPAC straw poll". NBC News. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Michael Falcone (12 February 2011). "Ron Paul Wins 2011 CPAC Straw Poll, Sarah Palin Finishes a Distant 9th Place". ABC News. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Josh Lederman (12 February 2012). "Santorum suggests Romney rigged CPAC straw poll victory". The Hill. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Stephen Dinan; David Sherfinski (16 March 2013). "Rand Paul wins The Washington Times-CPAC 2013 Straw Poll". Washington Times. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- James Hohmann (8 March 2014). "A Rand Paul rout in CPAC straw poll". Politico. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- CPAC Pleased to Present Annual Ronald Reagan Award to Jessica Echard highbeam.com
- 2016 Sponsors
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