Trump still the overwhelming choice among Republicans at conservative conference CPAC

Former US president Donald Trump has held out the prospect he could run again for the White House. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Mr Donald Trump overwhelmingly won the 2024 presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which showed the extent of the former president's dominance over the Republican Party.

Mr Trump had an approval rating of 98 per cent and was the choice of 70 per cent of CPAC attendees in the straw poll among potential Republican candidates taken during the three-day gathering in Dallas.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was a distant second at 21 per cent.

In a separate question without Mr Trump in the field, Mr DeSantis was the choice of 68 per cent, with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 5 per cent and the former president's son, Mr Donald Trump Jr, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz at 4 per cent. Mr Cruz was among six potential candidates at 1 per cent in the question with Mr Trump in the field.

Mr Trump increased his support from the straw poll conducted at CPAC's event in Florida in February, where he had 55 per cent backing followed by Mr DeSantis at 21 per cent.

The former president has held out the prospect he could run again for the White House.

In an interview on Ms Maria Bartiromo's "Sunday Morning Futures," Mr Trump told the Fox News anchor he knows his answer about another White House bid but can't reveal it because of campaign finance rules for declared candidates.

Mr Trump received a rousing response to his keynote address to close CPAC on Sunday (July 11) from the 4,000 attendees, with chants of "four more years." Speaker after speaker during the conference paid homage to the former president and peppered their remarks with references to him.

"His policies will live on forever. He has taught America to stand up and fight for this nation," Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said in his speech on Friday. He ended his remarks with "in 2024, Trumpism will rise again."

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