I am a bit older than most around here, and have now voted in 9 presidential elections. Of those 9 votes, I have voted enthusiastically for a candidate 3 times (33%). 84, 88 and 2000. The rest I settled.
I was never able to vote for any of these, but here's a list of whom I would have voted for in my life time, given what I knew in 2000 and learned later:
80: Reagan (I hate Carter)
84: Reagan (I like Reagan)
88: Bush I (I like Reagan)
92: Clinton (I like the Clintons)
96: Clinton (I like the Clintons)
00: Gore (I like the Clintons and Al Gore was a decent chap back then)
04: Bush (I was proven wrong about him)
08: McCain (although ideally paired with Lieberman)
I think it can easily be seen that my position is neither conservative nor liberal as such but simply based on centrism plus radical anti-communism plus support for the military and Israel.
What isn't clear above (some might say especially because of Clinton) is that I usually also care about the lifestyle of the politicians I support. I prefer politicians who are themselves fairly conservative and religiously somewhat observant but advocate a completely secular state nonetheless. George W. Bush was, with a few minor exceptions, a good example of what I like (and so was McCain).
I also take into account the enemies a politician has. Again, George W. Bush profitted here (as did the Clintons and Al Gore though).
In 2012 I will likely support, in order of my preference:
1. Any pro-Israel Mormon running as a Republican
2. Any pro-Israel Jew running as a Democrat
3. Hillary Clinton