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Trump Wins CPAC 2024 Straw Poll Over DeSantis

(AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)

Former President Donald Trump was the top pick for the 2024 GOP Presidential nomination straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this weekend.

Trump won 59 percent of the ballots cast in the anonymous survey, based on results announced by CPAC Sunday afternoon.

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich tweeted that the former President, "continues to grow the conservative MAGA movement, which includes growing his political dominance."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was runner-up with 28 percent of the vote and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo finished in third place with just 2 percent.

During his speech, Trump argued that President Biden is to blame for the Russia-Ukraine conflict, stating that if he was still President, Vladimir Putin would not have invaded his neighbor. 

The former President also slammed Biden for the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and other international conflicts. 

"China is threatening Taiwan. Russia is decimating Ukraine. Iran is on the cusp of a nuclear bomb," Trump said. "Joe Biden has turned calm into chaos, competence into incompetence, stability into anarchy, and security into catastrophe. The Russian attack on Ukraine is appalling. It is an outrage and catastrophe that should never have been allowed to occur. It never would have occurred," he asserted.

This year's CPAC attendees said they support Trump, but also showed interest in DeSantis. The Governor has become widely popular in recent years for his strong resistance to COVID masking and vaccine rules implemented by the government.

Yet, Trump's approval rating among CPAC participants remains overwhelming with 97 percent of respondents saying they agreed with his performance as president. Eighty-three percent said they strongly approved. 

Former Attorney General William Barr has not shown his support of Trump taking office again in 2024, laying out his views in his new book, One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General.

Barr wrote that Trump has "shown he has neither the temperament nor persuasive powers to provide the kind of positive leadership that is needed," according to The Wall Street Journal.

"The election was not 'stolen,'" Barr writes. "Trump lost it." He urges conservatives to look to "an impressive array of younger candidates" who share Trump's driving force, rather than his "erratic personal behavior."

CPAC says over 2,500 attendees at the conference voted in the straw poll.

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