Texas’ governor may not be too popular among national grassroots conservatives.
In a presidential straw poll taken of attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend, Gov. Greg Abbott received 0 percent of the vote. Former President Donald Trump led the poll with 55 percent, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was in second place with 21 percent. Texas’ Sen. Ted Cruz received 2 percent.
Even Republican politicians with reputations as political moderates—who weren’t expected to poll well among CPAC’s attendees—outperformed Abbott, with Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (0.3 percent) and former Ohio Governor John Kasich (0.1 percent) edging him out.
Nixing Trump from the poll didn’t offer much help. While Ron DeSantis soared to 43 percent in a second straw poll excluding the former president, Abbott inched to a mere 0.1 percent.
Abbott has received heavy criticism from grassroots activists for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While he has touted an end to shutdowns in his state, Texas’ governor has still retained restrictions on bars and other types of businesses. “Fifty-one percenters,” a group of bar owners prohibited from operating due to the state’s coronavirus mandates, sued Abbott to remove some of the restrictions.
The governor who performed best in the straw poll, Ron DeSantis, gained national attention in September for suspending all COVID-19 restrictions in Florida.
Last week, Abbott hinted that he would make an announcement ending coronavirus mandates “pretty soon.” Abbott has yet to make such an announcement.