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FIRST ON FOX: Former President Trump’s name will sit atop the GOP presidential nomination straw poll ballot next week at the second annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) gathering in Dallas, Texas.
Joining the former president on the ballot will be 20 other Republicans considered potential White House contenders in the 2024 election, according to details from the American Conservative Union — which hosts the annual CPAC confabs — which were shared first with Fox News on Thursday.
The 2024 straw poll will include a second list, without Trump. The former president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., takes his place in the first spot on the ballot in the second 2024 question. Both ballot questions allow for respondents to write in the name of a potential candidate not listed, and also allow for those voting to say they are undecided.
Trump, who for a year and a half has repeatedly teased another White House run in 2024, captured 59% of ballots cast in the anonymous online straw poll at the annual CPAC gathering in Orlando, Florida in February.
The former president, who remains the most popular and influential politician in the Republican Party, continues to play a kingmaker’s role in GOP primaries as he won 55% support in the 2021 CPAC Orlando straw poll, and his support jumped to 70% in the 2024 straw poll conducted at last summer’s CPAC in Texas.
In addition to Trump, the Texas CPAC main ballot will include (in the order they will appear): Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, former Vice President Mike Pence; former ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley; Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who was runner-up to Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries; former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who also ran for the 2016 nomination; Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky, two more 2016 presidential candidates; Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis; South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem; 2016 presidential contender and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson; Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Rick Scott of Florida, the National Republican Senatorial Committee chair; former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a 2016 presidential candidate; Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan; Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina; Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin; Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott; and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
DeSantis came in a distant second in the straw poll in Orlando in February, at 28%, up from his 21% standing in both CPAC straw polls from last year. No one else among the 19 names listed on the ballot in February cracked 2%.
The former president’s strong performances on the unscientific surveys come as no surprise. CPAC, long the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives, has become a Trump-fest since his 2016 presidential election victory.
Voting on the CPAC Texas straw poll ballot is only open to attendees of the four-day confab, which kicks off next Thursday, Aug. 7. Voting will once again be conducted through the CPAC app. At last year’s gathering in Dallas, 1,525 ballots were cast.
McLaughlin and Associates, which conducted polling for Trump’s successful 2016 election and his unsuccessful 2020 re-election, will once again oversee the CPAC straw poll.