The Conservative Political Action Committee’s straw poll provides a road map for where the conservative base of the Republican Party is headed.
While former President Donald Trump handily won the contest for a theoretical run for president in 2024, CPAC’s straw poll gave other hints about what conservative leaders want: if not Trump himself then at the very least, more Trump’ism.
While just over half — 55% — support a Trump run, a stunning 95% of CPAC attendees said they prefer the Republican Party continue Trump’s policies. Turns out that energy independence, record-low unemployment, and America-first policies are actually popular!
If Trump decides not to run in 2024, there is a decent bench of candidates who are beloved heroes of the base.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ranked first in a poll which (uniquely) asked who ought to step up if Trump opts not to run. 43% of attendees want DeSantis to run for president, as the sunshine state governor was lauded throughout the weekend for his management of the COVID-19 crisis.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem also rated amongst CPAC goers. 11% of conservatives would pick her to be their nominee.
A non-officeholder, first son Donald Trump, Jr. came in at 8% of the vote; however, the poll didn’t exactly measure the impact that his father’s all-but-assured endorsement would register.
Shoring up the CPAC straw poll were former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senator Ted Cruz — fresh from his fateful trip to Cancun — who rated in the single digits at just 7%.
It’s extremely early in the 2024 discussions, and the candidates will undoubtedly continue to jockey for position. However one thing is assured: the candidates are out of the gate earlier than ever and the race for the White House is already on.