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Ron DeSantis Tops Donald Trump Among Conservatives in 2024 Presidential Straw Poll

Ron DeSantis campaigns with Donald Trump in Tampa, Florida in 2018. Could the two be at odds in 2024?
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Ron DeSantis, the 46th and current Governor of Florida, recently topped former President Donald Trump in a straw poll asking conservative voters for their 2024 presidential preferences. The poll asked attendees of the Western Conservative Summit, a gathering of conservatives held June 18th and 19th in Denver. if they’d approve of the candidacy of a variety of different potential candidates in the 2024 election. DeSantis scored the highest of any candidate, with 74.12% saying they approved of him as a potential candidate. Trump came in second with 71.43%. The full results were as follows:

  1. Ron DeSantis (Governor of Florida) – 74.12%
  2. Donald J. Trump (Former President) – 71.43%
  3. Ted Cruz (Senator from Texas) – 42.86%
  4. Mike Pompeo (Former CIA Director & Sec. of State) – 39.35%
  5. Tim Scott (Senator from South Carolina) – 35.58%
  6. Kristi Noem (Governor of South Dakota) – 29.92%
  7. Tom Cotton (Senator from Arkansas) – 29.92%
  8. Rand Paul (Senator from Kentucky) – 27.76%
  9. Donald Trump Jr. (Activist) – 24.80%
  10. Mike Pence (Former Vice President) – 21.56%
  11. Josh Hawley (Senator from Missouri) – 20.22%
  12. Dan Crenshaw (Representative, TX-2) – 20.22%
  13. Nikki Haley (Former Governor of South Carolina) – 19.14%
  14. Other (unspecified) – 7.82%
  15. Michelle Obama (Former First Lady) – 2.96%
  16. Elizabeth Warren (Senator from Massachusetts) – 2.96%
  17. Joe Biden (President of the United States) – 2.43%
  18. Pete Buttigieg (Secretary of Transportation) – 2.16%
  19. Stacey Abrams (Former Georgia House Minority Leader) – 2.16%
  20. Amy Klobuchar (Senator from Minnesota) – 2.16%
  21. Kamala Harris (Vice President of the United States) – 1.89%
  22. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Representative, NY-14) – 1.89%
  23. Beto O’Rourke (Former Representative, TX-16) – 1.62%
  24. Cory Booker (Senator from New Jersey) – 1.62%
  25. Andrew Yang (Entrepreneur) – 1.35%
  26. Bernie Sanders (Senator from Vermont) – 1.35%
  27. Gretchen Whitmer (Governor of Michigan) – 1.35%
  28. None of the Above1.08%
  29. John Kasich (Former Governor of Ohio) – 0.81%
  30. Mark Cuban (Entrepreneur) – 0.54%
  31. Andrew Cuomo (Governor of New York) – 0.54%
  32. Michael Bloomberg (Former Mayor of New York City) – 0.27%

371 attendees of the Summit were given the poll, and DeSantis’s winning total was 275. Donald Trump was just ten behind, at 265. Unsurprisingly, no Democrat polled above 2.96% (Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Warren), and no Republican polled below 19.14% (Nikki Haley) – with the key exception of former Ohio Governor John Kasich, who polled at 0.81%. Tallying just three supporters, Kasich’s numbers come in the light of continued criticism of the Trump administration and a speaking slot at last year’s Democratic National Convention.

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By the nature of a straw poll, each potential candidate’s percentage does not represent the amount of support they’d accrue in a primary or general election; rather it represents the raw amount of polled individuals who’d view their candidacy or presidency as a favorable outcome. There’s considerable overlap between those who approved Trump and DeSantis (and other choices) in this straw poll, while a regular performance poll would attempt to pinpoint the outcome of an upcoming election.

If elected in 2024, Donald Trump would be the second ever president to serve two non-consecutive terms in office.

First elected in 2018, Ron DeSantis had been a vocal supporter of then-President Trump and continues to be a notable face of the Trump-era conservative landscape. Before narrowly defeating Democrat Andrew Gillum to win the governorship, DeSantis represented Florida’s 6th congressional district in the House of Representatives, a territory that includes all of Flagler County.

Former President Trump has teased, but not confirmed, the idea of him mounting a third presidential campaign in 2024. “I’m absolutely enthused. I look forward to doing an announcement at the right time,” he stated to radio host Candace Owens. “As you know, it’s very early. But I think people are going to be very, very happy when I make a certain announcement.”

DeSantis’s first term as Governor expires with the 2022 election, and he’s set to face the winner of a Democratic primary that includes former Governor Charlie Crist (then Republican, now Democrat) and current Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida. If DeSantis wins a second term, he’d likely need to resign should he plan on focusing efforts toward a presidential campaign.

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.

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