Trump wins CPAC straw poll as mock Jan. 6 jail cell causes stir at conference

Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Former President Donald Trump on Saturday won an unofficial straw poll among attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference Texas for who should be picked as the party's 2024 presidential nominee as an exhibit with a mock jail cell for a Jan. 6 rioter caused a stir at the event.

Jim McLaughlin, a pollster for Trump who conducted the straw poll, announced the results onstage at CPAC Texas just hours before the former president was expected to appear.


"Yep, President Trump increases his job approval to an astronomical 99% in CPAC Straw Poll and blows away the potential 2024 field with 69% of the vote, up from 59% from February CPAC," McLaughlin said in a tweet.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is not at CPAC but is widely considered to be a potential candidate for the 2024 presidential election. Vendors were even seen selling merchandise bearing the governor's name at the conference, the Dallas Morning News reported.

DeSantis won 24% of the vote compared to Trump's 69% in the straw poll but 65% of attendees said they would vote for DeSantis if the former president were not on the ballot.


Sen. Ted Cruz received just 2% of the vote in the straw poll while Texas Gov. Greg Abbott did not register above 0% of the vote.

The results of the poll came as an art performance dedicated to those who have faced criminal prosecution for their involvement in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, creating a stir at the conference.

Video footage of the installation published by CNN featured a mock prison cell with Brandon Straka, a pro-Trump activist who encourages people to leave the Democratic party, performing as a crying inmate in an orange jumpsuit crying.

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