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Trump’s power in the Republican Party is growing. Here’s how we know

A huge majority of people at a Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas this weekend said they wanted former President Donald Trump to be the GOP’s nominee in 2024

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the CPAC.
Former president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, July 11, 2021, in Dallas.
LM Otero, Associated Press

The GOP is ready to send former President Donald Trump back to Oval Office, at least according to an opinion poll of Conservative Political Action Conference attendees in Dallas this weekend.

A massive 70% of CPAC goers said they’d vote for Trump as the Republican presidential nominee in a hypothetical 2024 primary, Fox News reported. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump loyalists, came in second place with 21%, while no other Republicans received more than 1%, according to Fox News.

  • If Trump decides not to run in 2024 — although he continues to hint that he will run for the presidency again — DeSantis takes a Trump-sized lead with 68% of CPAC-ers nominating the Florida Republican.
  • Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration-era former secretary of state, came in second behind DeSantis on the sans-Trump ballot with a meager 5%, Fox News reported, while Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Donald Trump Jr. each had 4% without Trump in the running.

Trump’s role as Republican Party leader is becoming stronger

This weekend’s CPAC straw poll results showed that Trump’s popularity — along with DeSantis’ — in the Republican Party has grown in the last six months, according to Forbes.

  • In February, only 55% of attendees of a similar CPAC event in Orlando, Florida, said they wanted Trump to lead the ticket in 2024, Forbes reported.
  • If Trump stayed in political retirement, or at least stayed off the presidential primary ballot in 2024, DeSantis lead the poll with 43% attending Republicans choosing him in February’s hypothetical presidential primary.

Poll results are fake, unless they’re good, Trump says

During his speech at the Dallas convention Sunday night, Trump said he only would have believed the results of CPAC’s straw poll if they were his favor, Business Insider reported.

  • “Now, if it’s bad, I just say it’s fake,” the former president told the crowd, reported Insider. “If it’s good, I say that’s the most accurate poll, perhaps ever.”
  • In the past, Trump has decried similar things he doesn’t like as false, like referring to unfavorable media coverage as “fake news.”