The Conservative Political Action Conference (or CPAC) is considered one of the biggest and most influential annual political conferences. It is mainly attended by conservative activists and elected officials from all across the United States of America and beyond. Organized by the American Conservative Union, this conference has served as one of the biggest platforms for conservatives to discuss their ideas. The horizons of CPAC have expanded recently, with countries like Australia, Brazil and Japan hosting their first CPACs in recent years.
Founded in 1974 by the American Conservative Union and Young Americans for Freedom, the then-presidential hopeful Ronald Reagan gave the inaugural keynote speech. Reagan used it to share his vision of the country, calling it “A shining city upon a hill”, which is considered to be the defining moment of the “Reagan Revolution”. Ever since the conference has flourished, with speakers like president elects Ronald Reagan (again in 1985), George Bush (2008) and Donald Trump (2011 and 2018) giving pivotal speeches at the meetings. The address given by Donald Trump in 2011 is considered to have sparked his political career with the Republican Party.
CPAC in Covid
Despite the public health risks, CPAC decided to hold its main event on March 7, 2020. It was later confirmed that one of the attendees had tested positive for COVID-19. Following the news, senator Ted Cruz, representatives Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Doug Collins and Mark Meadows announced self-quarantine because they had come in close contact with the unnamed carrier. In 2021, they shifted from their customary venue from Maryland to Florida. CPAC did this in light of the fact that Maryland had strict restrictions on the number of attendees for the event. In contrast, Florida has removed all pandemic related restrictions on gathering sizes.
Annual Straw Poll
The annual straw poll is one of the most important and staple events that are held at the CPAC. This vote has served as a measurement of the general feelings and consensus of the conservative movement. For the vote, the attendees are asked to fill out a survey which asks them questions about several issues. This includes questions about the most approved presidential candidate. Evaluating and quantifying people’s opinions and preferences about the subsequent presidential candidates is one of the essential cornerstones of the CPAC. US senator from Utah Mitt Romney holds the record for winning the most straw votes. Despite such popularity, he was not invited from CPAC in 2020 due to his vote to listen to more witnesses in the first impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Other winners of the vote have been prominent figures like Rudy Giuliani, Ted Cruz, Jack Kemp, Rand Paul and Ron Paul.
The most recent CPAC was held on February 25-28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. However they have another event in Dallas, Texas July 9 – 11, 2021. You can pre-register on the official website which quotes – Launched in 1974, CPAC brings together hundreds of conservative organizations, thousands of activists, millions of viewers and the best and brightest leaders in the world. You can visit our website to know about the updates of the upcoming CPAC as well.