Nobody at the three-day Texas Conservative Political Action Conference was probably surprised former President Donald Trump won their presidential poll.
In an anonymous straw poll featuring Trump as a 2024 candidate, the 45th president received 69 percent of votes cast, a number sure to make any politician flip with joy. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) came in second with 24 percent of voters saying they would support him for president.
The CPAC straw poll results were released just before a keynote speech by Trump, according to a Fox News report. DeSantis, who attended CPAC’s Orlando conference earlier this year, was a no-show in Texas, which may explain why he got about 5 percent fewer votes in Texas.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was a distant third place finisher who received 2 percent of votes in the poll. None of the other 21 names on the ballot received more than one percent of the vote.
DeSantis has become better known and more popular among Republican voters during the past two and a half years. Part of his growing appeal can be traced to his unbending opposition to COVID-19 restrictions enacted by blue states amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many voters express support for him based on his aggressive actions in the culture wars.
He recently suspended the 13th Judicial District’s state attorney whom DeSantis claims refused to prosecute perpetrators of certain crimes.
The Sunshine State’s governor did much better in the other CPAC straw poll.
When asked whom they would support for president in 2024 if Trump was not a candidate, DeSantis finished first with 65 percent of the vote. Donald Trump Jr. received eight percent of the votes. Cruz again finished third, with six percent of the vote. And former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo finished fourth at five percent.
None of the other candidates reached two percent of votes.
“President Trump remains the most dominant force in American politics, and as yet another poll shows, it’s a reality that will propel the growth and success of the Republican Party through the Midterms and beyond,” Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told Fox News.
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