DALLAS – Former President Donald Trump easily won the ballot for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) convened this weekend in Texas.
Trump, who repeatedly flirted with another presidential candidate in 2024 in an attempt to return to the White House, won 70 percent of the vote cast in the anonymous poll, according to results announced by CPAC on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a boost from the 55% support he won in the hypothetical straw poll of the 2024 Republican primary clash at CPAC Orlando in late February.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came far behind at 21%. No one else among the 19 potential Republican White House candidates in 2024 has exceeded 1%.
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DeSantis, a first-term governor and Trump ally who has gained popularity among conservatives across the country for his resistance to COVID lockdowns and restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, easily passed a second question in the 2024 poll – without Trump on the hypothetical ballot.
DeSantis got 68% support on this issue, with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 5%. Donald Trump Jr. and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas were both at 4%, with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem at 3%. No one else has gone over 2%.
The results of the straw poll, along with the speech by the former headlining president on Sunday, were the most anticipated moments of the three-day rally of activists and conservative leaders from across the country.
Trump’s strong performance is not surprising. CPAC, long the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives, has become a Trump-fest since winning the 2016 presidential election.
Eighty-eight percent of the 1,525 CPAC participants who voted said they strongly approved of the work Trump had done in the White House, with another 10% somewhat approving.
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CPAC participants responded anonymously – via an online application – to the 20-question survey designed by the organizers. Among the topics of the secret ballot, which organizers say will give them a feel for the pulse of the conservative movement, are critical race theory, culture cancellation and border security. But the 2024 Straw Poll questions, without a doubt, have generated the most interest.
In the straw poll at CPAC in Orlando, DeSantis, who finished second with 21% support, was the only other Republican to hit double digits.
DeSantis topped the second question in the Orlando Straw Poll, which did not include Trump, finishing with 43% support in the hypothetical nominating showdown, with Noem second at 11%.
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