However, two top 2016 contenders were excluded from CPAC but not from the straw poll.
Peter Beinart on why the front-runner should pass on his party's first primary, not just August's straw poll.
After a public forum and a straw poll, it settled on J.D. Winteregg, a 32-year-old teacher from Troy, Ohio.
But a criminal trial is not a straw poll where jurors simply voice who they favor.
But while the straw poll may have been the first ballot of 2016, the entire weekend served as a political beauty pageant.
And though he skipped the straw poll, Perry is not dismissing Iowa and its caucuses.
The CPAC straw poll said that the male-female balance was about 60-40, and there is always a strong showing of college students.
“I think the straw poll has outlived its usefulness,” Branstad said.
Indeed, Gross warns that the straw poll may even prevented Romney from winning this year.
But in recent polls she still lags behind Romney and even Perry, a dynamic that winning the straw poll could help alter.
an unofficial accounting taken of opinion on an issue or candidate; also called straw vote
from straw 'not having real authority' or 'insignificant thing'
Originally, a small, informal opinion survey. Today, a straw poll is generally a large-scale, scientifically determined public opinion survey based on a random sample of the population. Straw polls are commonly used to test public opinion of candidates running for office.