A straw poll conducted at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) found that former President Donald Trump is the most popular potential 2024 presidential nominee among conservatives. Trump won the poll with 55% of the vote, while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis followed with 21%, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem received 4% of the vote.
In an alternative poll in which Trump was excluded, DeSantis was found to be by far the most popular pick, receiving 43% of the vote followed by Noem with 11%, Donald Trump Jr. with 8%, and both former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) coming it at 7%.
DeSantis has received growing support within the Republican Party following his successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida.
Watch @JMcLaughlinSTK announce the results of the #CPAC2021 Straw Poll. #AmericaUnCanceled pic.twitter.com/8TuN2bjXjm— CPAC 2021 (@CPAC) February 28, 2021
The poll also found that 97% of CPAC attendees say they approve of the job Trump did from 2017 to 2020, with nearly seven in 10 voters saying they want to see the former president run again. Only 15% of voters said they do not want Trump to run again in 2024.
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Speaking on "CNN Newsroom" Sunday, former National Security Advisor John Bolton called the 55% vote for Trump a “pathetic” figure that represents “how far he has fallen already.”
“But just to take CPAC — if this is the epitome of support for Trump, the straw poll that was taken this weekend and released just before Trump spoke showed that of all the participants, 55 percent supported Trump being reelected as president. That is a pathetic figure," he said. "I would have expected 90 percent. So if 55 percent, one month after leaving office at CPAC, is the best he can do, that’s a mark of how far he has fallen already.”
Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove echoed Bolton's thoughts, saying, "Remember, this was a group that came to this meeting for largely one reason: President Trump was going to be there. This is the truest Trump believers. And for him to only get 55% says -- as I said in my column -- he is losing strength because he's not introducing something new. He's losing strength whether he recognizes it."
(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)