Trump Dominates Bellwether Contest

(DCWatchdog.com) – Donald Trump “obliterated” his competitors for the 2024 GOP nomination in a straw poll at last weekend’s Turning Point USA Action Conference in Florida, winning close to 90% support.

About 87.5% of the attendees of the conservative forum in West Palm Beach, Florida, said they favored the 45th president of the United States for the 2024 nomination, according to the straw poll by Trafalgar Group.

Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis scored only 4.3% support among the attendees but was ranked third, not second, Breitbart News reports.

Surprisingly, the second spot went to businessman Perry Johnson, who entered the Republican primary race only recently. He was favored by 7.8% of the event participants.

Some 6,000 people attended the Turning Point conference, but about half participated in the straw poll. Half of those in attendance were aged 18-21, while the rest were of different ages.

DeSantis didn’t attend the event even though it was in his home state, while Trump gave a long speech tackling multiple topics.

Half of those polled selected entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy as their second preference for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump was the second choice of 21%, while 13.5% picked DeSantis.

“Governor DeSantis spent the day with Iowans and spoke to a packed house at the Tennessee GOP Statesman Dinner later that night. This was a day after he delivered the strongest interview at the Family Leadership Summit, which Donald Trump notably skipped. Ron DeSantis is campaigning to win,” Bryan Griffin, spokesman of the DeSantis campaign, told The Washington Examiner.

Charlie Kirk, the Turning Point founder and CEO, told the news outlet that DeSantis’ absence hurt his performance in the poll, as multiple attendees said they were disappointed.

“Vivek showed up and gave a great speech, and he was the clear second-choice favorite among our people,” he added.

The survey also asked the conference-goers about their preference for a Republican vice presidential candidate, with 30% choosing former Fox News host Kari Lake, 24% picking US Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, and 22% voting for Ramaswamy.

“The straw poll demonstrates that President Trump remains the single most dominant force among the conservative grassroots. All the attacks against him have seemingly made him even stronger and more popular among the conservative faithful,” Kirk emphasized.