GOP Straw Poll Shows Trump as Runaway Favorite

A straw poll conducted at last weekend’s Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa shows that President Donald Trump is the runaway favorite to take the Republican nomination for president in 2024.

The poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group placed Trump almost 60 percentage points ahead of the pack.

The straw poll asked summit attendees about how they would vote among seven different potential candidates in various 2024 scenarios. Assuming all candidates run, Trump took an overwhelming 78.7% support from the group.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was second at 19%. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and former Vice President Mike Pence followed behind, all coming in at 1% or less.

The poll also asked respondents how they would vote in the event Trump decided not to enter the primary race. That scenario included nine possible candidates and saw DeSantis as the clear leader, emerging with 87% support.

In that field, Donald Trump, Jr. came in second at 6%. Cruz polled 2.3%, Noem took 1.5%, and Pompeo 1%. Haley, Pence, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) all took less than one percent.

The poll also asked attendees if they approve of the Republican establishment in Washington, with 92.7% expressing disapproval.

Asked whether they believe the GOP establishment is able to communicate to younger voters, 73.8% said they were not confident.

When asked to choose whether “sending $56 billion to Ukraine” or constructing a wall at the southern border is more important, 98% put the higher priority on U.S. southern border security.

The poll also asked attendees to rank which potential Democratic candidates would be most difficult to beat in the 2024 presidential election. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) was ranked as the toughest opponent, drawing 30.3% of the responses.

The group ranked former first lady Michelle Obama second at 13.6%. She was followed by Hillary Clinton at 10.5%, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at 10.3%, Vice President Kamala Harris at 7.9%, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) at 5.9%.

Current President Joe Biden followed with only 4.4%. The only listed potential candidates he finished ahead of were Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).

The Turning Point USA Student Action Summit included thousands of young student activists between the ages of 15 and 26. The attendees received leadership training, participated in networking events with political leaders and activist organizations, and heard from guest speakers. The primary mission of the summit was to provide students with tools and training on how to most effectively defend conservatism when they return to their schools.