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DALLAS — Former President Donald Trump convincingly won the 2024 Republican presidential nomination vote at a three-day Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting in Texas.
Trump, who has repeatedly teased his re-running for the presidency in 2024 in an attempt to return to the White House, won 69 percent of the vote in an anonymous online straw poll, according to results released Saturday by CPAC.
The former president remains the most popular and influential politician in the GOP and continues to play a kingmaker in the Republican primary, with approval ratings higher than the anonymous online straw polls at his CPAC rally in Orlando 59% in the survey, Florida in February.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in second at 24 percent for the 2024 presidential nomination, down from 28 percent at the CPAC meeting in Orlando five months ago.
2024 WATCH: CPAC attendees pick favorite presidential candidate as Trump, DeSantis still popular
Over the past two and a half years, DeSantis’ popularity has surged with Republican voters in his state and nationwide, thanks in large part to his tireless resistance to COVID-19 restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic And he’s in the culture wars.
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While DeSantis has repeatedly deflected talk about a possible 2024 Republican presidential bid, political pundits see him as a potential White House contender.
CPAC Texas straw poll results released ahead of Trump’s keynote speech. DeSantis, who appeared at the Orlando conference earlier this year, did not attend the Texas party.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, speaking at the conference on Friday, received 2 percent support in the polls. Of the 21 names listed on the ballot, no one else made more than one percent.
“President Trump remains the most dominant force in American politics, as another poll shows, a reality that will drive the growth and success of the Republican Party in the midterms and beyond,” Trump spokesman Taylor B. Dovic told Fox News after the results that he was released.
The 2024 straw poll also includes a second list without Trump. His name was replaced by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.
DeSantis tops the list with 65 percent of the vote in the second round of voting in 2024. Donald Trump Jr. received 8 percent, Cruz 6 percent and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo 5 percent. On the second ballot question, no one else made more than 2%.
It’s no surprise that the former president did well in the unscientific survey. The CPAC has long been the largest and most influential gathering of conservative leaders and activists, and since its 2016 presidential victory, it has become a Trump event.
In another question about who CPAC attendees want Trump to be a running mate when he launches his campaign in 2024, DeSantis got 43 percent support, with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Pompeo received 7% support each.
No one else topped 4% on the running mate vote.
Voting for the CPAC Texas Straw Ballot is open only to meeting attendees, and voting is again conducted through the CPAC app.
“President Trump has an unbreakable bond with the conservative movement,” said Matt Schlapp, president of the American Conservative Coalition, which runs CPAC. “He just did what he promised to do, and they did it. Thank you.”
Veteran Republican pollster Jim McLaughlin told Fox News that the CPAC poll vote is “the ultimate barometer of what’s going on in the conservative movement.”
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McLaughlin and colleagues, who conducted polls for Trump’s successful 2016 election and unsuccessful 2020 reelection campaign, again oversaw CPAC’s straw polls.
McLaughlin, who has been at CPAC for decades, said, “Just as Ronald Reagan defined and set the tone for the conservative movement in the past, so does Donald Trump now.”