By Cassandra Fairbanks
Former President Donald Trump won the Conservative Political Action Conference’s straw poll of 2024 contenders by a massive majority.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came in a distant second — after beating Trump at a conservative conference headlined by former Vice President Mike Pence, last month.
Trump won a landslide victory with 70 percent of the vote, while DeSantis followed behind with 21 percent. Neither potential candidate has officially announced a campaign.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Fox News host Tucker Carlson, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) all walked away with one percent each.
Pence received zero percent.
At the Western Conservative Summit in Denver in June, 74 percent of participants approved of a potential DeSantis presidency, while Trump received the approval of 71 percent.
The CPAC straw poll found that when Trump was removed from the options, DeSantis received 68 percent of the vote.
#BREAKING: Former President Trump wins the #CPAC straw poll for 2024 GOP presidential nominee, with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) winning the straw poll for a race in which Trump doesn't run. pic.twitter.com/u6mI1H8IG2
— Forbes (@Forbes) July 11, 2021
Trump has said that he would consider DeSantis as a running mate — but has not announced if he is actually running yet.
“Well, he’s a friend of mine. I endorsed Ron. And after I endorsed him, he took off like a rocket ship,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business in May. “He’s done a great job as governor.”
“A lot of people like that — I’m just saying what I read and what you read, they love that ticket,” Trump added. “But certainly, Ron would be considered. He’s a great guy.”
Many supporters of a Trump/DeSantis ticket have pointed to the fact that the governor’s popularity in his state would give Republicans a leg up in the state. Florida is a key swing state that has leaned right in recent elections.
The former president recently told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he has made a decision about running, but did not say what the decision was.
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