Former President Donald Trump won the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll, pollster John McLaughlin announced on Sunday.
“I think unfortunately this poll is going to trigger a lot of the media again,” McLaughlin teased. Trump was the favorite with 55% support in the CPAC straw poll, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 21%.
Top three of #CPAC2021 straw poll:
Without Trump as an option, DeSantis laps the field with 43%.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) February 28, 2021
“No one in the history of the conservative movement has earned your support the way this president has,” McLaughlin added. “And they’re not just trying to cancel him; they’re trying to cancel you.”
“Mr. McLaughlin gave me numbers that no one had ever seen before,” Trump said of the poll totals during his speech to CPAC. (RELATED: Midterm Polling Wild Card: People Who Support Trump Don’t Always Say So)
McLaughlin’s organization, McLaughlin & Associates, served as the Trump campaign’s official pollster during the 2020 election.
“In order to regain the House and Senate in 2022, the GOP needs to continue to broaden the Trump coalition and not discourage Trump voters from coming out again in 2022 and 2024,” McLaughlin wrote of Trump’s performance in the 2020 election.
The CPAC straw poll has not historically been predictive of the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul won the straw poll in 2013, 2014, and 2015, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won in 2016. Paul dropped out of the 2016 presidential primary race after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucus, while Cruz finished second to Trump.