Trump Wins CPAC Straw Poll, DeSantis Takes Second

Elections
Then-president Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus response during a meeting with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., April 28, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Donald Trump won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Sunday, with 59 percent of respondents saying they would vote for the former president in the 2024 presidential primary.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis was runner-up with 28 percent of the vote, according to the poll conducted at CPAC by secret ballot. Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo trailed with 2 percent.

Ninety-seven percent of CPAC attendees said they approve of Trump, with 83 percent saying they strongly approve.

Meanwhile, in a poll of potential 2024 candidates without Trump, DeSantis’s support jumps to 61 percent. Pompeo received 6 percent of the vote, as did Donald Trump Jr.

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Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, as well as South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem received 3 percent of the vote each. Former vice president Mike Pence received 1 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, the polling showed a scathing rebuke of President Biden, granting him 99 percent disapproval and saying his “competence” is the greatest threat to America’s safety and national security. Sixty-one percent of respondents said Biden’s competence is the country’s greatest threat, beating out China (35 percent) and Russia (3 percent).

The top three most important issues to CPAC attendees were election integrity (49 percent), immigration/border wall (48 percent), and constitutional rights (43 percent).

The polling comes one year after Trump won the 2021 straw poll with 55 percent of the vote. Last year, DeSantis received just 43 percent of the vote in a poll of potential 2024 candidates without Trump, while Noem drew 11 percent.

The straw poll has not been a reliable indicator of future presidential prospects in the past; Senator Mitt Romney of Utah won the straw poll in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012, while Paul won the poll in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had received 38 percent of the vote in the straw poll, when in fact he received 28 percent of the vote.

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