Trump has been tightening his grip on Republican activists at CPAC since last year

ORLANDO, Fla. — The man who lost the House, Senate and White House in his single term and then tried to overthrow the republic to stay in power has nonetheless tightened his grip on activists attending the most publicized annual meeting. Republican political event.

Among attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend, 85% said they would support former President Donald Trump if he ran for the White House in 2024, compared to 68% who there are a year, had said they wanted him to run again.

“Nothing has faded for the president,” said John McLaughlin, a former Trump pollster who conducted the app-based electronic survey for CPAC.

In the straw poll, Trump beat Florida Governor Ron DeSantis 59% to 28% this year, with none of the other candidates reaching 2%. A year ago, Trump beat DeSantis 55% to 21%, with no other candidate exceeding 4%.

In a separate poll question that excluded Trump’s name, DeSantis got 61% at this year’s event, with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump Jr. tied for second at 6%. each.

A year ago, DeSantis received 43%, with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem getting 11%, Trump Jr. 8% and Pompeo 7%.

The CPAC poll was open to registered attendees — tickets were $295 for the four-day conference — and the event has become a Trump festival since taking office, complete with Trump t-shirts, hats and other paraphernalia. everywhere. This year, 2,574 participants voted.

In other polls, Trump still leads other Republicans, but not as overwhelmingly. In a Rasmussen survey last week, for example, Trump was just 47% as the choice of Republican primary voters in 2024. DeSantis came second at 20%, with Liz Cheney, a congresswoman from Wyoming and fierce critic of Trump, in third place. at 7 O’clock%.

Even on the CPAC site, there was some appetite for non-Trump candidates and a competitive primary. “I would like Trump to run, but I would like to see others running too,” said Florida retiree Gary McClintock, 68, who cited Noem, DeSantis, Pompeo and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as names he would like to see. in the mix. In fact, he said, it might even be better for the party if someone else won the nomination. “I would like Trump to show up, but I think he could do a lot on the sidelines.”

For others, the choice was clear: if Trump ends up not running, it should be DeSantis.

Wilma May, a Texas energy lawyer, said she likes Cruz, Pompeo, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Sen. Rick Scott. “But I’m not into loving. I want to win,” she said, adding that DeSantis could win in November 2024, unlike the others.

Megan Sgroi, a nursing student at the University of Tampa, would also like it to be DeSantis if it can’t be Trump, but said she was confident Trump would eventually run. “He has unfinished business,” she said. “He had big plans.

Trump, despite losing the election by 7 million votes nationally and 306-232 in the Electoral College, became the first president in more than two centuries of elections to refuse to hand over power peacefully. His instigation of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol — in a last-ditch attempt to stay in office — killed five people, including a police officer, and injured 140 officers. Four officers working in and around the Capitol that day died by suicide.

Trump is now under investigation by federal and state officials in multiple jurisdictions.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James conducted a civil investigation into her family business, while the Manhattan District Attorney conducted a criminal investigation.

Meanwhile, the Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney has appointed a special grand jury just to focus on Trump’s attempt to coerce state officials to ‘find’ enough votes to undo his loss. of this state for the benefit of Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

And the House committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 has subpoenaed a growing number of former and current aides to Trump to determine his precise role in the events of that day, while the Justice Department confirmed that he was investigating at least one element of Trump’s plan to stay in power: the subjugation of fake Trump “voters” in states that Biden won.

At a rally on Jan. 29 this year, Trump called on his supporters to stage “the biggest protests we’ve ever had in Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta and anywhere else” if prosecutors come after him , “because our country and our elections are corrupt.

Despite this, Trump remains the dominant figure in the Republican Party and is openly talking about running for president again in 2024.


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