Centennial Institute announced today that it will hold a 2012 presidential straw poll at the upcoming Western Conservative Summit in Denver. Balloting will take place at 11:00 a.m., Sunday, July 31. Results will be announced at 12:45 p.m.

The Denver Straw Poll will be the first test of 2012 presidential preferences among grassroots activists in Colorado and the Western states. Summit organizer John Andrews said the target audience for his annual conference is movement conservatives, the faith community, Republican volunteers, and Tea Party activists.

“No one knows yet who the Republican nominee for president will be,” said Andrews, “but this should be a lot of fun for anyone interested in presidential politics—and particularly revealing in terms of next year’s wild card, the Tea Party.

“To keep it fair,” Andrews added, “the straw poll ballot includes a voting line for the only announced Democratic candidate, President Obama, as well as write-in options for any other Democrat and for any third-party candidate.”

Western Conservative Summit 2011 runs Friday through Sunday, July 29–31 at the Denver Marriott City Center, 1701 California Street in downtown Denver.

Andrews said the Summit will be at capacity with more than 900 delegates expected from 20 states. They will have the opportunity to see and meet two announced Republican candidates and two who are still unannounced, but considered to be potential candidates.

Texas Governor Rick Perry (R), who is considering a run for U.S. President in 2012, and presidential candidate Rick Santorum will keynote the opening night session. Santorum, a former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, and Governor Perry will speak about “America at the Crossroads” at the Summit’s welcome dinner which begins at 6:00 p.m., Friday, July 29.

Herman Cain, another presidential candidate, speaks at the Summit at 10:30 a.m., on Sunday, July 31. His topic is “This Time, Real Change.” Cain is former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and former chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, who has said he will decide in September about his 2012 White House bid, will address the delegates on Saturday morning, July 30, at 10:00 am. His topic is “Defending America in Dangerous World.”

The Denver Straw Poll ballot, printed as part of each delegate’s program book, alphabetically lists the following announced and undecided Republican candidates: Michele Bachmann, John Bolton, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Thaddeus McCotter, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum, in addition to the listing for President Obama and the write-in lines. John Andrews noted that invitations to send a campaign video or surrogate speaker have gone out to all GOP candidates who are officially in the race but not attending the conference.

Western Conservative Summit 2011 is presented by Centennial Institute, a public policy think tank affiliated with Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colorado.

Additional Summit speakers are:

  1. Fox News Analysts Juan Williams and *** Morris
  2. Political Commentator Tucker Carlson
  3. Syndicated Newspaper Columnist Cal Thomas
  4. Democratic Pollster Pat Caddell
  5. Salem Radio Talk Show Host Dennis Prager
  6. Author and Commentator Mark Steyn
  7. Vice President of Young America’s Foundation Kate Obenshain
  8. Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney
  9. President of the American Enterprise Institute Arthur Brooks
  10. Comedian Brad Stine
  11. “The Big Black Lie” Author Kevin Jackson
  12. Businessman and Philanthropist Foster Friess

Full conference tickets are $250; separate session tickets are $80 and allow participants to attend either (a) Friday only; (b) Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; (c) Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; or (d) Sunday only. Individual sessions include lunch or dinner; or Sunday brunch.

Western Conservative Summit originated in 2010 at Lone Tree, Colorado. This year’s event, moved to Denver to accommodate audience demand, is presented in partnership with 710 KNUS, The Daily Caller, Independence Institute, Colorado Union of Taxpayers, CitizenLink (part of Focus on the Family), Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, Tea Party Patriots of Colorado, and 30 other conservative groups.

Summit co-chairs are John Andrews, director of the Centennial Institute, and Bill Armstrong, president of Colorado Christian University. Andrews is a columnist for The Denver Post and is former president of the Colorado Senate and author of the recently released book Responsibility Reborn: A Citizen’s Guide to the Next American Century. Armstrong is a former businessman and represented Colorado in the U.S. House of Representatives (1972-1978) and the U.S. Senate (1978-1990).