Trump wins CPAC straw poll

Written by Javed Iqbal

“He’s more popular than ever,” said Jim McLaughlin, a Trump pollster who conducted the straw poll.

McLaughlin announced the results from the CPAC Texas main stage about two hours before Trump’s scheduled appearance. Among those in attendance who voted, 69% said they preferred Trump, while 24% said they would prefer Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

When asked who they would prefer if Trump did not run for president, 65% of respondents said they preferred DeSantis, while 8% said they would support Donald Trump Jr.

The straw poll is not a scientific study with a pool limited to CPAC attendees and is not representative of the broader GOP electorate.

The results mirror straw polls at previous CPACs since Trump left office, which showed the former president with a wide lead among conservative activists and DeSantis as the favorite alternative.

In February, Trump won a straw vote at CPAC in Orlando, Florida, with 59% of the vote. DeSantis finished second in that poll with 28% of the vote, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came in a distant third with 2% of the vote.

In a July 2021 CPAC straw poll, Trump topped the GOP field with the support of 70% of conference attendees, compared to 21% who chose DeSantis last year.

In an interview with New York Magazine last month, Trump said said he was still deciding when — not if — to announce a 2024 campaign. DeSantis is too broadly considered to be a contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

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Javed Iqbal

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