ORLANDO, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump remains a dominant force within the Republican Party, according to a straw poll at a conservative conference Sunday.
A CPAC straw poll showed 55 percent of people polled picked the former president to vote for should he run in the 2024 election. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came in second with 21 percent.
In comparison, the next closest person was South Dekota Gov. Kristi Noem with four percent of people saying they would vote for her in the 2024 Republican primary. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul all received two percent.
However, in a poll where Trump was not included, DeSantis fared better, getting nearly half the vote with 43 percent. Gov. Noem came second with 11 percent and Donald Trump Jr. received 8 percent.
When asked if Trump should run again for president in the next election, only 68 percent said yes.
"I may even decide to beat them for a third time," Trump teased during his speech at CPAC Sunday, a continuation of his false claim he only lost the November election because of widespread voter fraud.
The event so far at a Hyatt hotel in Orlando, Florida, has been a tribute to Trump and Trumpism, complete with a golden statue in his likeness. Speakers, including many potential GOP 2024 hopefuls, have argued the party must embrace the former president and his followers, even after the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. They stand in opposition to others who argue the party must move in a new, less divisive direction after Republicans lost not only the White House but both chambers of Congress in the last elections.
“Let me tell you this right now: Donald Trump ain’t goin’ anywhere,” Cruz said Friday, arguing the GOP has become the party of “not just the country clubs” but also blue-collar workers.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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