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Veteran Republican pollster Jim McLaughlin called the straw poll ballot “the ultimate barometer of what’s happening in the conservative movement” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

McLaughlin and Associates, which conducted polling for former President Donald Trump’s successful 2016 election and failed 2020 re-election bid, will once again oversee the CPAC Straw Poll, this time at the confab in Dallas.

Former President Trump speaks at CPAC in Dallas on July 11, 2021.

Former President Trump speaks at CPAC in Dallas on July 11, 2021.
(Andy Jacobson/AFP via Getty Images)

The three-day conference will conclude Saturday with the release of straw poll results — including the highly anticipated 2024 Republican presidential nomination questions — followed by a keynote speech from the former president.

McLaughlin, who has attended CPAC for decades, told Fox News, “It’s like Ronald Reagan defined the conservative movement in the old days and it’s the same with Donald Trump right now.”

2024 Watch: CPAC Attendees Pick Trump as Favorite Presidential Candidate, DeSantis Gain Popularity

As Fox News first reported last week, Trump’s name topped the GOP presidential nomination straw poll ballot, ahead of 20 other Republicans considered potential White House contenders in the 2024 election.

The 2024 straw poll has a second list without Trump. The former president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was first on the ballot in the second 2024 question. Both ballot questions allow respondents to write in the name of a potential candidate not listed and allow voters to say they are undecided.

The former president, who remains the most popular and influential politician in the Republican Party, continues to play the role of kingmaker in the GOP primaries and has repeatedly teased a run for the White House in 2024 for a year and a half, winning 55% support. The straw poll was conducted at the 2021 CPAC in Orlando, Florida. His support jumped to 70% in a 2024 straw poll conducted at CPAC in Texas last summer. Trump captured 59% of the ballots in an anonymous online straw poll at the CPAC Orlando conference in February.

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks on stage at the Varkert Bazaar Cultural Center in Budapest on September 23, 2021.

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks on stage at the Varkert Bazaar Cultural Center in Budapest on September 23, 2021.
(Attila Kisbendek/AFP via Getty Images)

First on Fox: Who’s on the CPAC 2024 Straw Poll Ballot

In addition to Trump, the Texas CPAC primary ballot includes (in order of appearance):

– Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, 2012 GOP presidential candidate

– Former Vice President Mike Pence

– Former Ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

– Sene from Texas. Ted Cruz

— Former Governor of Ohio. John Kasich

– Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida

– Rand Paul of Kentucky

– Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

– Governor of South Dakota. Christie Nome

– 2016 presidential contender and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson

– Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas

– Sen. of Missouri. Josh Hawley

– Sene from Florida. Rick Scott, Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee

– Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

– Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 2016 presidential candidate

– Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

– Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina

– Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin

– Texas Governor Greg Abbott

– Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivers remarks at the 2022 CPAC conference at Rosen Shingle Creek on February 24, 2022 in Orlando, Fla.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivers remarks at the 2022 CPAC conference at Rosen Shingle Creek on February 24, 2022 in Orlando, Fla.
(Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

DeSantis finished a distant second in a February straw poll in Orlando with 28%, matching his 21% in two CPAC straw polls from last year. Of the 19 names listed on the ballot in February, no one else cracked 2%.

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The former president’s strong performance on unscientific surveys is not surprising. CPAC, the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives, has become a Trumpfest since his 2016 presidential victory.

Voting in the CPAC Texas straw poll ballot is open only to attendees of the confab, which began Thursday. Voting will be conducted once again through the CPAC app. Last year in Dallas, 1,525 votes were cast.