Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came out on top of an early straw poll for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Last weekend, the Western Conservative Summit took place at the Centennial Institute, a public policy think tank at Colorado Christian University. According to a poll taken at the event, 74 percent of attendees approve of DeSantis as their 2024 presidential candidate. Former President Donald Trump, who came in a close second, received 71 percent approval. They were followed by Sen. Ted Cruz (43 percent), former secretary of state Mike Pompeo (39 percent) and Sen. Tim Scott (36 percent).
Poll participants also approved of South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem (around 30 percent), followed by Sen. Tom Cotton at 30 percent, Sen. Rand Paul at 28 percent and Donald Trump Jr. at 26 percent. Surprisingly, former Vice President Mike Pence came in 10th , receiving just 22 percent approval by poll participants.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama and Elisabeth Warren were the most preferred Democratic candidates with voter approval of 4 percent, followed by current president Joe Biden with 2 percent. Biden came in 16th in the poll. Further down the list was Vice President Kamala Harris, who received less than 2 percent approval from attendees.
Attendees also were asked to rank 25 policy issues that mattered most to them. The five most important issues were immigration/border security (82 percent), election integrity (79 percent), religious freedom (75 percent), federal budget/deficit (74 percent) and gun rights (74 percent). Issues ranked at the bottom of the list included police reform (12 percent), race and racism (11 percent), COVID-19 (9 percent), environment/climate change (9 percent), diversity, equity and inclusion (6 percent) and LGBTQ issues (5 percent).
Although Trump came second in the Western Conservative Summit straw poll, the former president topped DeSantis in the 2024 presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. If Trump chose not to run in 2024, DeSantis would win the support of the plurality of conservatives (43 percent) who attended CPAC. The top issues in the CPAC straw poll were election integrity (62 percent), constitutional rights (48 percent), immigration/border wall (35 percent), reopening the economy (32 percent) and the Second Amendment (26 percent).
As for who could ultimately win over the 2024 Democrat nominee, it remains unclear. More clear, however, is national polling that shows Democrats losing both the Senate and House in the 2022 mid-terms.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice