Former President Donald Trump claimed the straw poll at the Western Conservative Summit on Saturday barely 24-hours after his federal indictment was publicly unsealed.
He surged past Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his nearest challenger for the GOP 2024 presidential nomination, by 40.3 percent to 35.8 percent, the Washington Examiner reports.
Next closest candidates were Larry Elder, at 7.7 percent and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., at 5.8 percent, leading Jeff Hunt, co-chair of the summit to observe a “two-horse race” is fast developing for the nomination.
“The results are clear — Western grassroots conservatives want a fighter who will take on the radical Left and the institutions that are destroying America’s founding principles,” Hunt said.
Trump’s clear triumph in the straw poll comes one day after an indictment was unsealed showing the former president is charged with 37 felony counts related to him keeping classified documents in his Mar-a-Lago residence after he was president, as Breitbart News reported.
According to the straw poll, the top issues for attendees at the event going into the 2024 election cycle were election integrity, religious freedom, education, and border security.
The former president has already publicly proclaimed his innocence.
“I’M AN INNOCENT MAN!” Donald Trump Responds to News of Indictment in Classified Docs CaseDonald J. Trump / Truth Social
The federal indictment released Friday by U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Special Counsel Jack Smith was Trump’s second in two months after a state court indictment in Manhattan in March.
It includes 38 counts of alleged crimes, along with 31 separate counts of alleged willful retention of national defense information under the Espionage Act.