A straw poll without former President Donald Trump conducted by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and released Sunday shows Fox News’ Tucker Carlson is considered a contender for the 2024 GOP nominee with 3% of the vote, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was overwhelmingly the frontrunner with 43%.
Pollster Jim McLaughlin announced the poll results during CPAC, as has been previously reported. The initial poll included Trump and shows he is still the most popular choice for president among conservatives, with 55%, while DeSantis followed at 21%; the governor was the only other candidate in this poll to reach double digits. (RELATED: Trump Wins CPAC Straw Poll)
The second poll without Trump was released because there is still uncertainty about whether the former president will run again. Behind DeSantis in this poll was South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem at 11%, Donald Trump Jr. at 8%, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 7%, and all other candidates at 3% or below, including Ivanka Trump and former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, in addition to Carlson. Former Vice President Mike Pence received only 1% of the vote.
#CPAC2021 poll w/o Trump
Ron DeSantis: 43%
Kristi Noem: 11%
Don Jr: 8%
Mike Pompeo: 7%
Ted Cruz: 7%
Tucker Carlson: 3%
Josh Hawley: 3%
Nikki Haley: 3%
Rand Paul: 2%
… and Mike Pence: 1%
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) February 28, 2021
McLaughlin revealed that the survey also found 7 out of 10 people would like to see Trump run again. He emphasized that Republicans want either Trump or a Trump candidate.
Rumors have circulated since early 2020 that Carlson would be a contender for the next presidential race, due to his strong ratings and influence over the conservative movement. Politico reported in July that people were “buzzing” about the prime-time host as the nominee, including Republican strategists, former Trump administration officials and conservative commentators.
Carlson shut down the speculation in August when he told Mediaite’s The Interview podcast he “never wanted to be involved” in a presidential run. He said he loves his role at Fox and confirmed he has a contract that “extends a while” with the network.
The host also said during the interview that he is “committed to saying what I think is true, and politics is a hard place to do that.”
Carlson and Fox News have not publicly commented about the host’s name being included in the poll.