Former President Donald Trump easily won the Conservative Political Action Conference’s (CPAC) closely watched straw poll on Saturday, notching a symbolic win among the Republican grassroots as he seeks to reclaim the White House in 2024.
Trump won with 62 percent, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), likely his closest rival, came in at 20 percent. Businessman Perry Johnson, who announced his candidacy for the White House this week, earned 5 percent.
The results aren’t especially surprising; the former president has claimed the top spot in each of the previous five CPAC straw polls, which gauge the presidential preferences of conference attendees.
Trump won last year’s straw poll at CPAC in Orlando, Fla., with 59 percent support. DeSantis scored 28 percent in that straw poll.
At the same time, CPAC has transformed into a Trump-friendly venue over the years, and several prospective 2024 presidential contenders, including DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), skipped out on the event this time around.
Trump is set to address the conference on Saturday evening, while two other declared presidential hopefuls, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, delivered remarks earlier in the week.