Jeb Bush asks to be left out of CPAC straw poll

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) asked to be left off the Conservative Political Action Conference's presidential straw poll, a Bush spokeswoman confirmed to The Hill.

"We asked not to be included," Bush spokeswoman Jaryn Emhof said. "As Gov. Bush has said repeatedly, it is too early to think about 2016."

Bush will keynote the conservative confab's dinner Friday night. The audience, which skews younger and more libertarian than the Republican Party and conservative movement as a whole, could be a tough group to please for the former governor, who is viewed as more of an establishment Republican.

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Past winners of the straw poll include movement leaders like Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and social conservative Gary Bauer, as well as more mainstream Republican politicians.

American Conservative Union President Al Cardenas confirmed to The Hill that Bush's staff had asked he not be included in the straw poll, and Cardenas defended the poll's relevance and accuracy in gauging the feelings of conservatives.

"Last time that we heard from the peanut gallery about the accuracy of these straw polls and what did they really mean, it was a presidential election year. I decided to do both a presidential election poll with a representative sample universe ... and we did the straw poll. And they both had the same one-two-three finish," he said. "It was a pretty good response to those naysayers."