DALLAS – Along with former President Trump’s address on Sunday, the results of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll is the most anticipated moment at this weekend’s gathering in Texas.
And voting is already underway among the 3,200 attendees taking part at the confab in Dallas.
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CPAC attendees are anonymously answering – via a online app – the 20-question survey designed by organizers. Among the topics on the secret ballot, which organizers say will give them a sense of the pulse of the conservative movement, are critical race theory, cancel culture, and border security.
But without a doubt, the two questions on the survey that will generate the most interest are numbers seven and eight, which deal with the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. Question seven has a list of candidates, including former President Trump. Question eight doesn’t include Trump’s name.
Trump remains extremely popular with many in the GOP base, as he continues to play a kingmaker’s role in the 2022 Republican Party primaries, and flirts repeatedly with making a 2024 presidential run to try and return to the White House.
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As expected, Trump easily won the straw poll at CPAC in Orlando, Florida in late February, with 55% support in the hypothetical 2024 Republican primary matchup. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who finished in second place with 21% support, was the only other Republican to reach double digits.
DeSantis, a first-term governor and Trump ally who soared in popularity among conservatives nationwide for his resistance to lockdowns and COVID restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, easily topped a second straw poll that didn’t include Trump. DeSantis finished with 43% support in the hypothetical nomination showdown, with another strong Trump supporter, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, finishing second at 11%. Everyone else named in the straw poll finished in single digits.
DeSantis is not attending CPAC in Dallas, but Noem will speak at the confab on Sunday, a couple of hours ahead of Trump’s address.
Results of the straw poll will also be released on Sunday afternoon, about a half an hour before the former president speaks.
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The potential Republican White House hopefuls listed on question seven – listed in the order they appear on the ballot – are Dr. Ben Carson, a 2016 presidential candidate who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary under Trump, former New Jersey governor and 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie, Trump, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, former Ohio governor and 2016 presidential candidate John Kasich, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, Noem, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who also ran for the 2016 nomination, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, another 2016 presidential candidate, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, DeSantis, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the runner up in the 2016 GOP presidential primary battle, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Question eight is the same lineup of potential 2024 contenders – minus the former president – with Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina added to the list.
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