Democrats and Never-Trumpers may have thought that former President Trump’s second impeachment was the final nail in the coffin of his political career — but that cannot be further from the truth.
Just hours before Trump launched his first post-presidency public speech at CPAC, a Washington Times/CPAC poll was released which showed that Trump is already taking the lead for the potential 2024 GOP nomination.
The Times reported on Sunday morning:
President Trump is the early leader among conservatives for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination, according to The Washington Times/CPAC poll released Sunday — but even if he’s not at the top of the ticket, conservatives said the Trump agenda must be continued.
Asked flatly whether they want to see Mr. Trump run again, 68% said “Yes,” making him the clear leader.
And when stacked up against a list of 17 other names in the straw poll, Mr. Trump was the pick of 55%, distantly followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who likely enjoyed a favorite son advantage at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, being held in Orlando.
Even more important than the specific lineup of potential nominees is the striking unity displayed among poll respondents. Many establishment and Never-Trump GOP figures — such as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) — have indicated that they want to leave the Trump agenda behind — but GOP voters aren’t ready for that.
A stunning 95 percent of poll respondents said that the GOP must continue to forge ahead in advancing the Trump agenda, indicating that potential GOP candidates looking to shed Trump’s “America First” philosophy in 2024 won’t get very far.
In regard to the specific presidential prospects as the nation looks toward 2024, the poll presented two options to respondents answering the straw poll: One including Trump’s name on the list and one excluding it.
According to the Times:
When [Trump] was on the list, he got 55% of the vote, Mr. DeSantis got 21%, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was third with 4%, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Hayley garnered 3%. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Ted Cruz followed at 2%, and no other candidate cracked that mark.
Without Mr. Trump, Mr. DeSantis led with 43%, Ms. Noem had 11%, and Donald Trump Jr. — whose name was not on the poll with his father — was third at 8%. Ivanka Trump was ninth.
Other notable names were Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who was eighth in one poll and sixth in another, and former Vice President Mike Pence, who was 10th in the poll with Mr. Trump’s name and didn’t make the top 10 in the poll without.