Trump Wins CPAC Straw Poll, With Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis His Closest Contender

Donald Trump won the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll on Wednesday with 55% of attendees marking the embattled former president as their preferred choice to be the Republican party’s presidential nominee in 2024.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump stand outside of the Hyatt Regency where the … [+]

The unscientific poll of a markedly pro-Trump crowd found that while nearly all (95%) want the Republican party to advance Trump’s policies and agenda, only 68% said they want him to run for president again in 2024.

Trump still polled the highest of all potential 2024 candidates, with 55% saying they want him to be the party’s next presidential nominee.

Notably, the next highest-ranking picks have both been vocally supportive of the former president: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who captured 21% of the vote, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), who polled at 4%.

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Without Trump on the ballot, DeSantis dominated the poll by a large margin with 43% support (notably, this year’s conference is in Orlando, Florida).

All other candidates—aside from Noem, who had 11% support—polled in the single digits, including former Vice President Mike Pence (1%), Trump’s children Don Jr. and Ivanka (8% and 3% respectively) and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Josh Hawley (R-Miss.), who were some of the most vocal proponents of Trump’s false voter fraud claims.

62%. That’s what proportion of CPAC straw poll respondents who ranked election integrity as the most important political issue in their eyes.

The straw poll—conducted by secret ballot—reflects the views of a more right-wing leaning crowd which now includes a large number of Trump supporters. The annual poll has also proven unsuccessful at predicting the party’s nominee in multiple instances. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), for example, won four CPAC straw polls, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) won three in a row.

I’m a British-born reporter covering breaking news for Forbes.

 

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