Former President Donald Trump continues to enjoy a significant polling advantage over his GOP primary rivals, and among some groups, his popularity is even more pronounced.
As a recent example, attendees at the recent Turning Point Action Conference participated in a straw poll to select their favorite candidate from among the 2024 presidential field. Trump received a staggering 85.7% of the votes with everyone else in the race receiving single-digit support.
Although the conservative conference took place in his home state, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who has consistently been polling in a distant second place behind Trump — wound up in third place in this straw poll with just 4.3% of the vote.
It is worth noting that DeSantis chose not to attend the conference. Campaign press secretary Bryan Griffin explained the decision in a statement.
“Governor DeSantis spent the day with Iowans and spoke to a packed house at the Tennessee GOP Statesman Dinner later that night,” he said. “This was a day after he delivered the strongest interview at the Family Leadership Summit, which Donald Trump notably skipped. Ron DeSantis is campaigning to win.
The second-place choice of conference attendees was largely unknown candidate Perry Johnson.
Turning Point founder Charlie Kirk noted that DeSantis’ absence was likely a factor in his poor performance, adding: “There are a lot of people here who have a lot of respect for the governor and what he’s done in Florida, but I was approached multiple times by attendees telling me they were disappointed he didn’t come, and that’s evident in the poll results.”
Participants were also asked to select their second choice and more than half selected tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
Vivek really showed up this weekend and the Turning Point Action straw poll results prove it. 51% of respondents picked this man as their 2nd choice candidate. Pretty remarkable how far he’s come in a very short amount of time. https://t.co/yJzke2HdA2
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) July 16, 2023
While straw polls can be less reliable than scientific surveys, this result seems to indicate particularly strong support for Trump among young voters. Roughly half of the attendees at the conference were between 18 and 21 years of age and the poll included about 3,000 total votes.
“The straw poll demonstrates that President Trump remains the single most dominant force among the conservative grassroots,” Kirk said. “All the attacks against him have seemingly made him even stronger and more popular among the conservative faithful.”