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  • Ron DeSantis beat Donald Trump in a straw poll of Western Conservative Summit attendees.
  • Conference-goers were polled on who they would like to be the 2024 presidential nominee.
  • This is the second year in a row attendees picked DeSantis over Trump. 
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    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis claimed another clean win over former President Donald Trump in a recent straw poll of self-identified conservative conference-goers who were asked who they’d like to be the 2024 presidential nominee. 

    The poll was taken during the Western Conservative Summit, held in Denver, Colorado, on June 3 and 4. According to its website, the summit aims to “motivate those conservative activists who are in the trenches, to convene and network together, and to educate on key issues, both equipping volunteers as well as training a new younger generation of conservatives.”

    The Centennial Institute, a think tank linked to the Colorado Christian University, organized the event. 

    Conference-goers were asked which candidate they would prefer to be the GOP’s presidential nominee and were told to “vote for ALL the candidates you would approve for President.” Some 1,114 people responded to the question, according to poll results shared by Michael McGonigle, a journalist with local Colorado publication The Daily Citizen and Fox News

    According to the poll, DeSantis received the thumbs-up from 71.01% of voters, while Trump received approval from 67.68% of those who answered the poll. 

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz came in third, receiving 28.73% of the vote, and Dr. Ben Carson was fourth, with 24.15% of voters choosing Carson. Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence received votes from only 14.36% of respondents, polling lower than Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 

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    This is the second year DeSantis has come out on top of polling among Western Conservative Summit attendees. A  2021 straw poll asking the same question found that DeSantis received 74% approval while Trump received 71%.

    Neither DeSantis nor Trump have officially announced whether they’ll be running for president in 2024. 

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    In October 2021, DeSantis said he would not be considering a presidential run because he’s busy “trying to make sure people are not supporting critical race theory.” Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly teased a run but has not yet made a formal declaration.


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