ORLANDO, Florida – Nearly four months after losing the 2020 election, Donald J. Trump was able to celebrate being a winner again Sunday, after capturing the Conservative Political Action Conference’s 2024 presidential poll, while Governor Ron DeSantis from Florida finished first in a second poll from 2024 that covered a field of potential candidates that did not include Trump.
But in surprising negative news for Trump, only 68 percent of conference attendees said they wanted the former president to run again in 2024. Far more attendees, 95 percent, said they wanted the Republican Party to push the Republican Party. Mr. Trump’s policies and agenda backed you up again, even as the mere mention of Trump’s name won loud applause during the three-day activist meeting.
The ballot boxes, conducted by secret ballot, reflected the opinions of Current and former elected officials, activists, writers and others who attended the three-day conference, a group that broadly represents the far-right of the Republican Party and now includes a disproportionate number of Trump’s most passionate supporters.
The former president had completely dominated the weekend meeting in Orlando (a giant golden replica of him was one of the main attractions for activists) and the organizers of the event, better known as CPAC, put together two polls to measure the next Presidential field whether Mr. Trump runs or not.
Trump got 55 percent of the vote in the informal poll in which he was included. DeSantis was the only Republican to reach double digits, with 21 percent support, in the informal poll that included Trump. The results were presented by Jim McLaughlin, a Trump pollster who conducted the survey for CPAC.
Throughout the weekend, many of the CPAC speakers, especially other potential Republican candidates in 2024, had saluted Trump and defended his achievements with loud ovations on Friday and Saturday.
“Donald J. Trump is going nowhere,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said Friday to thunderous applause.
The results were released Sunday afternoon, just before Trump appeared at CPAC to deliver the first speech of his post-presidency.
DeSantis’ top spot in the poll without Trump is a boost for his emergence as one of the top Republicans of the post-Trump era. As governor of the crucially changing state of Florida (which is now also Trump’s home), DeSantis has become a popular figure among science-skeptical Republicans for his resistance to Covid-related lockdowns.
His speech on Friday captures the current post-republican politics phase. “We can sit down and have academic debates about conservative politics, we can do that,” he said. “But the question is, when the Klieg lights warm up, when the left comes after you: will you stay strong or will you retreat?”
DeSantis also vowed never to return to the “failed Republican establishment of yesteryear.” DeSantis, like other potential presidential candidates, has not indicated whether he in fact plans to run for the Republican nomination for the White House in 2024.
She got 43 percent in the poll without Trump, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem finished second, with 11 percent.
CPAC polls have not been shown to be particularly predictive of future presidential nominees. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul won three in a row in the run-up to the 2016 primaries, which he dropped out after failing to perform in one contest: the Iowa caucuses. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney won four CPAC opinion polls (in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012), but is now a figure whose name drew boos and ridicule as one of Trump’s fiercest Republican critics.
Still, early 2021 hit for DeSantis It gives you a broader platform and bragging rights for a party that remains largely in search of any identity beyond loyalty to Trump.
The result of the poll was probably disappointing for former Vice President Mike Pence, who did not attend the conference. He had served as Trump’s loyal number two for four years, but his unwillingness to try to challenge or overturn the 2020 election results earned him the ire of Trump and, in turn, that of many on the ground. republican. Mr. Pence obtained one percent of the CPAC votes.