Over the weekend, participants in a Republican presidential primary straw poll at a prominent conservative convention overwhelmingly supported former President Donald Trump.
Attendees at the Turning Point Action Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, favored Trump over other Republican contenders by an overwhelming margin (87.5% to 4.3%, according to a survey conducted by the Trafalgar Group).
Despite holding the conference in the governor’s home state, DeSantis finished a distant third, with only 7.8% of the vote, behind billionaire Perry Johnson.
Half the estimated 6,000 registrants (about 3,000) participated in the survey. Nearly half of the guests were in the 18-21 age range, with the other half spanning a more comprehensive range of ages.
On Saturday, Trump gave a lengthy address at the event, touching on many themes. The event was held in DeSantis’s home state, but he skipped it.
His campaign spokesman Bryan Griffin said Governor DeSantis had spent the day meeting Iowans and then addressed a full house at the Tennessee Republican Party’s Statesman Dinner that evening.
As their second choice, half of those polled named Vivek Ramaswamy, another conference speaker mobbed by admirers following his talk. In a second round of voting, 21% picked Trump, and 13.5 voted for DeSantis.
Turning Point CEO and founder Charlie Kirk said that the results of their straw poll show that President Trump is still the most popular figure among conservatives. All the negative press about him only seems to have bolstered his standing among conservatives.
Kirk also mentioned that attendees’ unhappiness in DeSantis’s absence was shared with him during the conference.
The Trafalgar poll also found that most respondents looked forward to the RNC debates in August.
Sixty-six percent of respondents indicated they did not have faith in the RNC to turn out voters in 2024, and an overwhelming majority (77 percent) stated they would not be donating to the RNC. Vote-banking and early voting were supported by over 90% of respondents.