Jeb Bush asked to be left off of the ballot of CPAC’s final-afternoon straw poll, and really, who can blame the guy? This is not the meager Republican bench of yesteryear, my friends:

1. NH Senator Kelly Ayotte

2. AZ Governor Jan Brewer

3. KS Governor Sam Brownback

4. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson

5. NJ Governor Chris Christie

6. TX Senator Ted Cruz

7. Former IN Governor Mitch Daniels

8. SC Governor Nikki Haley

9. LA Governor Bobby Jindal

10. OH Governor John Kasich

11. NM Governor Susana Martinez

12. VA Governor Bob McDonnell

13. Former AK Governor Sarah Palin

14. KY Senator Rand Paul

15. IN Governor Mike Pence

16. TX Governor Rick Perry

17. OH Senator Rob Portman

18. FL Senator Marco Rubio

19. WI Congressman Paul Ryan

20. Former PA Senator Rick Santorum

21. SC Senator Tim Scott

22. SD Senator John Thune

23. WI Governor Scott Walker

24. Other _______________________

25. Undecided

And CPAC picked what we might consider one of the lead guitarists of the rising band of young conservative rock stars, fresh off of royally aggravating the heck out of a few senior senators earlier this week, to give the conference’s keynote speech a little after 5 PM — follow along here, and I’ll update with the straw-poll results when they’re available.

Update: No surprises there — there was no majority, but Rand Paul followed by Marco Rubio together took nearly 50 percent of the overall vote:  photo Screenshot2013-03-16at54534PM_zps6a9aaea5.png