Former President Trump is considered the top choice amongst attendees who said they would vote for him in a hypothetical 2024 Republican presidential primary was held today, according to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual straw poll released Sunday — but even if he decides not to mull a comeback, the Trump agenda is the driving force the Republican party must continue going forward.
Of the 21 names listed to attendees, Trump earned 55 percent of the vote among conservatives when asked: "Thinking ahead, if the 2024 Republican primary for President in your state were held today among the following candidates, for whom would you vote?"
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and a Trump ally placed a strong second, obtaining the only double-digit portion of the votes with 21 percent. Come in at distant third was South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem who received 4 percent of the vote, followed by former UN ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley with just 3 percent.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, and Rand Paul of Kentucky topped 2 percent in the poll.
The straw poll also asked attendees if Trump decided not to run in 2024 who amongst a field of potential candidates would they prefer to capture the 2024 Republican nominee with DeSantis being the top winner. The Florida Governor earned 43 percent with Noem finishing second, obtaining 11 percent of attendees' support.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence, who declined an invitation to the conference in Orlando was listed in the two 2024 straw poll questions. Pence came in at 10th place that featured Trump's name, winning only 1 percent of the vote. Without Trump's name, Pence garnered 1 percent but was not one of the top 10 preferred selections of those polled.
When asked if they would like to see Trump run again for president come 2024, 68 percent of the participants said they want the former president to make a comeback, compared to 15 percent who stated they don't want him to run again. 17 percent stated that they were unsure.
A stunning 95 percent of the participants said they want to continue with Trump’s agenda and policies within, while 3 percent believe the GOP should change directions and 2 percent stated that they were uncertain. Trump also had a 97 percent approval rating for the job he did in the last four years as president.
The survey did take the temperature of the attendees on President Biden's performance in the last five weeks and whether they believe he is the rightful winner of the 2020 presidential election. The new president had a 1% approval rating with a staggering 93 percent of those who attended the annual conservative conference believe Biden prevailed in the Nov. 3 election with the help of voter fraud.
More than 93 percent believe that Republican lawmakers aren’t doing enough to fight Biden's agenda from being implemented.
The results were presented by Jim McLaughlin, a pollster who conducted the secret ballot straw poll for the conference in coordination with The Washington Times. The poll included 1,007 attendees at CPAC, which was conducted during the four-day event from Thursday through Sunday.
— CPAC 2021 (@CPAC) February 28, 2021
"The Make America Great Again movement is the conservative movement. That is the base of our party," McLaughlin said announcing the straw poll results.
The straw poll itself is not a scientific poll and has historically been a poor indicator of future presidential prospects. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) won the straw poll four times, in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2012, while Paul won third times consecutively back in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
The results were released ahead of Trump taking the CPAC stage to give his first speech since leaving the White House last month.