Conservative Political Action Conference
CPAC, which stands for the Conservative Political Action Conference, is the largest annual gathering of conservatives. Meeting in February, in 2008 it had a record attendance of 6800 persons, including as speakers President George W. Bush and all the Republican candidates for president.
In February 2010, it had record-breaking attendance of about 10,000 people.
Its audience tends to be mostly young male and, perhaps simply as a result of the demographic, more libertarian than the conservative movement. For example, in 2010 the audience ranked the importance of issues as follows:
- 85%: reducing government and government spending
- 10%: eliminating abortion
- 1%: stopping same-sex marriage
There was virtually unanimous opposition among attendees to the policies of the Obama Administration.
Ron Paul won the straw poll among attendees for president in 2012, but Mitt Romney came in a close second, and Romney is more favored by the Republican voters overall.
Ronald Reagan Award
Each year the special Ronald Reagan Award is given to a rising star in the conservative movement. In 2010, this award went to the Tea Parties.
The following people did not speak at CPAC 2010:
- John McCain
- Jeb Bush
- Charlie Crist
- Sarah Palin
- Chris Christie
- Bill O'Reilly
- Rudy Giuliani
- Sean Hannity
- Bill Kristol