The recent straw poll conducted by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to determine the 2024 Republican presidential nominee has yielded a definitive outcome. The results indicate that the previous President, Donald Trump, is the undisputed favorite to become the next leader of the party, having secured an overwhelming 62 percent of the vote. By contrast, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has emerged as a distant runner-up with only 20 percent of the vote. Businessman Perry Johnson, who declared his candidacy earlier this week, received a mere five percent of the total vote, thereby indicating his lack of popularity among the voters.
Former President Donald Trump gave the final major address at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday evening, after winning the event's traditional straw poll again. https://t.co/1yvnXJfolZ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 4, 2023
The poll also showed that Kari Lake, who is running for governor of Arizona as a Republican in 2022, has the most support as a vice-presidential candidate, with 20% of the vote. In contrast, DeSantis received a lower proportion of support at 14 percent. Notably, these results were obtained despite Trump not mentioning DeSantis’s name in his speech at the event.
The former president delivered an almost two-hour long speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which the Florida governor did not attend. https://t.co/TmJcOVfUqa
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) March 5, 2023
It is evident that Trump continues to exert significant influence within the Republican party and is expected to maintain his dominance for a while. This is demonstrated by the fact that he has secured the top spot in every CPAC straw poll conducted over the past five years. In the preceding year’s survey, Trump garnered 59 percent of the vote, while the Florida governor trailed far behind with only 28 percent of the support.
DeSantis garnered considerable media attention lately after voicing support for increasing the retirement age and privatizing Social Security and Medicare, policies that are not widely accepted by the Republican electorate. Therefore, it is not unexpected that Trump’s supporters are lending their unwavering support to him instead.
Trump has pledged to take political retribution against “lunatics and maniacs” whom he considers to be his adversaries, and it is evident that he retains strong backing from his core supporters. During his interactions with journalists at CPAC, Trump fielded inquiries regarding his association with DeSantis and his prospective presidency. He replied by stating, “I have always shared a positive relationship with him. However, it’s premature to delve into this topic.”
It’s clear that Donald Trump is still a major force in the Republican party and will remain so for some time. His supporters are rallying behind him and his policies, while DeSantis’s policies on Social Security and Medicare have been met with criticism from many Republicans.It’s hardly surprising that Trump continues to dominate the Republican primary polls for 2024; it will be intriguing to watch how the campaign shakes out in the following months.