“He’s more popular than ever,” said Jim McLaughlin, a Trump pollster who conducted the straw poll.
McLaughlin announced the results from the main stage at CPAC in Texas about two hours before Trump was scheduled to appear. Among those in attendance who voted, 69 percent said they preferred Trump, with 24 percent saying they would prefer Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSandis.
When asked who they would prefer if Trump were not the presidential candidate, 65% of respondents said they preferred DeSandis, while 8% said they would support Donald Trump Jr.
The straw poll is not a scientific survey, with a panel limited to CPAC participants and not representative of the broader Democratic Party electorate.
The results mirror straw polls at previous CPACs since Trump left office, which showed the former president with a wide lead among conservative activists and DeSantis as the favorite alternative.
In a July 2021 CPAC poll, Trump topped the poll with support from 70% of conventioneers, compared to 21% who chose DeSantis last year.