Trump beats out Gov. DeSantis in CPAC’s 2024 presidential straw poll

Trump indicated he planned to run for president a third time in 2024

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – During a four-day Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando this weekend, former President Donald Trump reminded those who want to move on that he remains the most powerful voice in Republican politics.

In a straw poll of 2,574 conference attendees asking who they would vote for in the 2024 Republican primary for president, Trump earned 59% support, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 28%. No one else had more than 2%.

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When asked for their preference should Trump not run in 2024, DeSantis earned 61% with no one else earning more than 6% of the vote. The straw poll only measured the opinion of those at the conference, not broader Republican sentiment.

Aside from Trump, DeSantis was a crowd favorite throughout the four-day conference. Audience members applauded almost every time his name was mentioned or his picture appeared on big screens.

Conference organizer Matt Schlapp said Trump remains a dominant force, but he does not have a lock on the party’s base.

“No. 1 is, Does he run again? And it’s overwhelming that people want him to,” Schlapp said. “But there’s a diversity of opinion.”

In his keynote address Saturday night, Trump indicated he planned to run for president a third time, in 2024. He falsely blamed his 2020 election loss on widespread voter fraud, for which there is no evidence.

“We did it twice, and we’ll do it again,” Trump said of running in 2024. Even so, he has teased about a 2024 campaign before and his vow this time was not necessarily ironclad.

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