Conservatives gathered at Orlando, Florida for this year's Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC) participated in a straw poll to take the temperature on who CPAC attendees currently favor to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024. The result wasn't surprising.
Former President Donald Trump won the poll with some 55 percent, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) at 21 percent and Gov. Kirsti Noem (R-SD) at four percent.
The former president is scheduled to speak at CPAC on Sunday in Trump's first public speech since leaving office. Both Govs. DeSantis and Noem broke from other governors by resisting pressure to keep their states locked down during the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump's influence over the GOP, at least the voters, remains sizeable. New polling shows that nearly half of Republicans say they would leave the GOP if Trump were to create a third party. Just 27 percent said they would stick with the GOP, and the rest were undecided.
Republican voters aren't turning a blind eye either at Republicans like Cheney who jumped on the latest impeachment bandwagon. Eight in 10 Republicans said they are less likely now to vote for a Republican politician who backed impeachment. Many of the defecting Republican lawmakers are already facing censures and new primary challenges back at home.
Trump has been a regular speaker at CPAC in recent years. He spoke before the conference every year during his presidency. In 2019, Trump delivered a two-hour speech at CPAC in what became his longest speech of his term.