GOP leadership confab to conduct ballot

June 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, June 16 (UPI) -- Results of a ballot taken during the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans should indicate who activists support, the conference's leader says.

Voting will be conducted Friday and Saturday during the conference, with the results to be announced Saturday afternoon, capping the weekend convention in New Orleans, Politico reported.

"This should be a great indicator of which candidates [capture] core GOP activists and donors support," conference Chief Executive Officer Charlie Davis told Politico.

The ballot features 12 announced or anticipated GOP presidential candidates. During last year's ballot, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney nipped U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas by a single vote. Both have announced their candidacies.

Besides Romney and Paul, all the major candidates are on the list, including former Govs. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Jon Huntsman of Utah, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and businessman Herman Cain, Politico said.

Former Alaska Gov. and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who hasn't revealed her 2012 intentions, also is on the ballot as are long shots Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico; Buddy Roemer, a former Louisiana governor; and U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, who is mulling a White House bid.

Notably absent: Texas Gov. Rick Perry who has indicated he'd consider running, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who has insisted he's not running despite pleas to do so, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a failed 2008 presidential candidate who may test the waters again.

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