Posted by on August 6, 2022 8:36 pm
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Trump wins CPAC straw poll, with DeSantis gaining ground

Ramona Ortega of Phoenix, Arizona, looks at her cell phone while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is scheduled to speak at the conference Thursday and former President Donald Trump is scheduled for Saturday. (AP Photo/LM Otero) LM Otero/AP

Trump wins CPAC straw poll, with DeSantis gaining ground

Kate Scanlon August 06, 05:46 PMAugust 06, 07:54 PM Video Embed

DALLAS — Shortly before former President Donald Trump addressed an audience of some of his biggest fans, he also led a straw poll of the conference for the Republican nominee for president in 2024. Trump is widely expected to seek a second term in the White House, but he has not declared his candidacy.

Limited to attendees generally strong fans of Trump, the Conservative Political Action Conference’s straw poll is not reflective of the general electorate or even necessarily the wider Republican base. It does, however, offer a snapshot of the views of conservative activists.

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Trump led the straw poll of potential Republican candidates with 69% of attendees’ support, which CPAC said represented a double-digit jump from last year’s Texas version. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) followed at 24%. No other potential candidate, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who addressed the home-state crowd Friday to enthusiastic applause, broke 2%.

The poll singled out Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, highlighting that she clocked in at 0% of the attendees’ support.

Asked who they would support if Trump were not on the primary ballot, 65% said DeSantis, followed by Donald Trump Jr. at 8%.

Attendees were also asked who they would like to see Trump select as a running mate if he is nominated. Sixty-five percent said DeSantis, followed by Gov. Kristi Noem at 9% and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 8%. Four percent of attendees said they would like to see former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat who has previously addressed the conference, as Trump’s running mate. Just 1% selected Mike Pence, who was Trump’s vice president.

Asked who they thought would be the Democratic nominee for president in 2024, just 8% said President Joe Biden would seek a second term. Thirty-seven percent of conferencegoers said they thought the nominee would be Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA).

Conferencegoers told the Washington Examiner in interviews that they would support either Trump or DeSantis, with some suggesting they would like to see DeSantis as Trump’s running mate.

“He’s younger. He has time,” one attendee, Linda, who agreed to be identified by her first name, told the Washington Examiner of DeSantis as a potential vice presidential selection. “Then he can run.”

Attendees who referenced Biden’s age appeared to be unconcerned that Trump was just three years younger and would retake the record for being the oldest president if he were elected to a second term.

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“He’s not deteriorating. He’s sharp,” one said.

Another argued DeSantis would be a better alternative, as he would implement policies they would like without some of the “baggage” that would come with Trump. Another conferencegoer interrupted the interview to say that “they will go after anyone who runs.”

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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