Former President Donald Trump topped the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll for the 2024 GOP nomination by a wide margin at the conservative conference Saturday.
Trump won 62% support in the poll, which was announced shortly before he was scheduled to speak to the crowd gathered at the Gaylord in Fort Washington, Maryland.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in as second choice with 20% support. The third-place pick at 5% support was long-shot GOP candidate Perry Johnson, a businessman who attempted to run for governor in Michigan but was blocked from participating in the Republican primary.
Kari Lake, the Republican Arizona gubernatorial nominee in 2022, received the most support for vice presidential candidate with 20%. DeSantis received 14% support for the 2024 vice presidential nominee in the CPAC poll. Over 2,000 attendees completed the poll, organizers said.
Trump easily won the 2024 GOP presidential nomination straw polls at major CPAC gatherings in Orlando, Florida and Dallas, Texas last year. The former president, who launched his 2024 bid last November and who remains the most popular and influential politician in the GOP more than two years after leaving the White House, captured 69% of ballots cast in the anonymous online straw poll last August in Dallas and 59% in Orlando last February.
The former president’s strong performances in CPAC’s unscientific survey comes as no surprise. The conference, long the largest and most influential gathering of conservative leaders and activists, has become a Trumpfest since his 2016 presidential election victory.
DeSantis was a distant second in the Dallas straw poll, at 24%, and grabbed 28% support in Orlando. Everyone else in the actual and potential field of 2024 GOP presidential candidates were in the low single digits or failed to crack one percent.
Florida’s governor, a former congressman, saw his popularity soar among conservatives across the country the past three years due to his forceful pushback against coronavirus pandemic restrictions and his aggressive actions as a conservative culture warrior going after media, corporations and teachers’ unions.
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