January 30, 2023

“It’s more popular than ever,” said Jim McLaughlin, the pollster for Trump who conducted the poll.

McLaughlin announced the results from the CPAC Texas main stage about two hours before Trump’s scheduled appearance. Of the attendees who voted, 69% said they favor Trump, with 24% saying they favor Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.

When asked who they would prefer if Trump did not run for president, 65% of respondents said they would prefer DeSantis, while 8% said they would support Donald Trump Jr.

The poll is not a scientific survey, as it is limited to CPAC attendees, and is not representative of the broader Republican electorate.

The results mirror polls at previous CPACs since Trump left office, which showed the former president leading significantly among conservative activists and DeSantis as the preferred alternative.

Last February, Trump won a poll at the CPAC in Orlando, Florida, with 59% of the vote. DeSantis came in second in that poll with 28% of the vote, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came in third with 2% of the vote.

In a July 2021 CPAC poll, Trump led the Republican Party square with support from 70% of convention attendees, compared to 21% who chose DeSantis last year.

In an interview with New York Magazine last month, Trump said he is still deciding when — not whether — he should announce the 2024 campaign. DeSantis is also widely considered a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

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