2024 watch: CPAC attendees choose favorite presidential candidate as Trump, DeSantis remain popular
Fox News Digital asked attendees of Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) a simple question in Dallas, Texas: Who do you want at the top of the Republican White House ticket in 2024?
Former President Trump, who has repeatedly teased another run in 2024, appeared to be the overwhelming favorite. However, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was a popular pick as well.
“Trump, period, end of conversation,” one attendee told Fox News Digital.
One attendee answered “Trump,” before his girlfriend called him out, and he hesitantly admitted he prefers the Florida governor these days.
“I like DeSantis more than Trump, I know that’s a contrary opinion,” he said.
CPAC 2022: TRUMP AMONG KEY CONSERVATIVES DESCENDING ON TEXAS WITH EYES ON MIDTERM ELECTIONS
Former President Donald Trump left, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are extremely popular among CPAC attendees.
(Jayme Gershen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
One attendee preferred a woman, saying former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, would make fine candidates. But for just about everyone else, there were only two choices, or in one case, three.
“Trump, DeSantis, [Ted] Cruz — I would take any of them,” an attendee said.
Other attendees wanted a Trump-DeSantis unity ticket, which is unlikely to happen but a best-case scenario for many conservatives. The reaction Fox News Digital received mirrored a straw poll conducted earlier this year at CPAC in Orlando when Trump captured 59% of ballots cast. DeSantis came in a distant second at 28%, while nobody else among the 19 names listed on the ballot cracked 2%.
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The opinion of CPAC Texas attendees will become clearer when results of the GOP presidential nomination straw poll ballot area are announced. Trump sits atop the ballot along with 20 other Republicans considered potential White House contenders in the 2024 election. CPAC attendees are able to partake using the event’s app.
In addition to Trump and DeSantis, the CPAC Texas straw poll ballot will include an array of other candidates, including Haley; Noem; Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee; former Vice President Mike Pence; Texas Sen. Cruz, who was runner-up to Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries; and Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky, two more 2016 presidential candidates.
As 2024 speculation ramps up, all eyes are on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump to see what they decide. DeSantis has said he’s focused on his re-election campaign in Florida, while Trump has hinted he will seek the White House for a third time.
(Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
TRUMP AND 20 OTHER POTENTIAL GOP 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDERS ON CPAC TEXAS STRAW POLL BALLOT
Other prominent Republicans on the list include Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Earlier Friday, DeSantis wouldn’t say if he would support Trump in 2024 if the former president were to run again.
“People have asked me about that, probably about a thousand different times,” DeSantis told Fox News. “I’m basically, I’m keeping my eye on the ball here in Florida… I’m doing 2022… I’ve got a campaign coming up.”
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and Matt Leach contributed to this report.
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