The results of the annual Conservative Political Action Convention straw poll Saturday are in…and they couldn’t be more meaningless.

Romney took 20 percent of the vote, followed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal with 14 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 13 percent, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with 13 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 10 percent and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 7 percent.

First, choosing a leader in 2009 for 2012 is just silly. We first have the mid-term elections which are paramount. However, I think the two are inextricably tied.

When someone’s running for Congress or Senate, their main priority is raising money. And when some big name like a Palin, Huckabee, Romney or Jindal agree to come into town to raise big money that candidate becomes indebted to that fundraiser. And once elected, that congressman or Senator, in turn, can raise money for them.

So you’ll know who’s serious about running for President by seeing who’s bouncing about the country next year raising money. A few years ago I knew Rudy was going to run for President when I was part of a local campaign which had little chance of winning but Rudy’s people accepted my call about doing a fundraiser and one of those annoying robo-calls.

Sarah Palin, who would obviously pack rooms across the country, has nothing but uphill in front of her. First, the press despises her and secondly, it’s going to be difficult for her to fly back and forth to the mainland for fundraisers.

Mitt Romney has tons of money and the ambition. He’s the front runner.

Watch to see what Bobby Jindal does. He says he’s not going to run but it would be nothing but stupid of him to announce he’s open to the idea this early. If he’s running around the country next year you’ll know he’s interested.

As far as Huckabee goes, this guy might as well be printing out Huckabee 2012 shirts in his basement already. He’s quick on his feet, he’s pro-life, and he’s media savvy. I’d expect Romney to get someone to go negative on him in a hurry. Let’s remember that Romney and Huckabee essentially split the conservative vote in the last primary which paved the way for McCain. So there’s not going to be any love lost between those two. That could be very interesting.

So, in short, I believe the outcome of the next congressional elections will have much to say concerning the Presidential election.