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Despite former President Donald Trump’s undeniable grip on the Republican Party, he lost this week in a 2024 presidential straw poll to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis, whose light has been shining brightly in the party because of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his willingness to combat big tech censorship and left-wing rioting, earned a 74.12 percent approval rating versus Trump’s 71.43 approval rating.
Conducted among 371 participants at this weekend’s Western Conservative Summit in Denver, which ended Saturday, the poll specifically looked at which “candidates you approve of for President in 2024.”
The poll this weekend marked the first instance of DeSantis beating Trump in such polls. Keep in mind that participants were allowed to name as many people as they liked.
Coming in third and fourth place were Sen. Ted Cruz and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo at 42.86 percent and 39.35 percent, respectively.
Thirty-two names total came up, including the names of Democrats like John Kasich, Andrew Cuomo and Michael Bloomberg. It’s presumed these votes came from the liberal journalists who were in attendance at the conference.
Most of the votes went to Republicans ranging from the ones mentioned above to Sen. Tim Scott (35.58 percent), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (29.92 percent), etc. Surprisingly, former Vice President Mike Pence scored only at 21.56 percent.
Western Conservative Summit 2021 non-partisan approval voting poll results:
1. Ron DeSantis – 74.12%
2. Donald Trump – 71.43%
3. Ted Cruz – 42.86%
4. Mike Pompeo – 39.35%
5. Tim Scott 35.58%
30 candidates polled. Democrats & Republicans.
Full results: https://t.co/2a7Z5gVVwU
— Centennial Institute (@CentennialCCU) June 20, 2021
There’s still anger among some segments of the the pro-Trump base over Pence’s decision to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
During the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference, which started Thursday and concluded Saturday, he was heckled and called a “traitor” by some in the crowd as he took the stage.
Former Vice President Mike Pence was met with heckles and chants of “traitor” as he took the stage Friday at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference in Kissimmee, Florida. pic.twitter.com/QD6FhDbUBj
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 18, 2021
Trump, who’s shown interest in perhaps running for re-election in 2024, has made it clear that if he does, Pence won’t necessarily be by his side.
As for DeSantis, it’s not clear how Trump feels about the Florida governor potentially running for president. What’s known is that he was ruthless and savage in his denouncement during the 2016 presidential election of his GOP primary challengers.
It’s also not clear whether DeSantis will even run in 2024. Part of the problem is that he’s absolutely running for reelection as governor in 2022. If he wins, it seems unlikely that he’d abandon his job willy-nilly for an unguaranteed chance at the presidency.
But if he does run, he’ll certainly have the infrastructure in place needed to make a serious go at the presidency. His political action committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, had nearly $40 million cash on hand as of late last month.
DeSantis is a fundraising powerhouse, collecting $5.1M in May as war chest approaches $40M https://t.co/7GS6NPqsVm pic.twitter.com/iOL19tD66d
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 30, 2021
DeSantis did not fare as well in the straw poll conducted in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. Limited to just one vote, 55 percent of participants chose Trump and only 21 percent chose DeSantis.
BREAKING: Former President Trump wins CPAC 2021 straw poll for 2024 Republican nominee for President
– Trump: 55%
– DeSantis: 21%
– Noem: 4% pic.twitter.com/AFu6TqFCsY
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 28, 2021
Meanwhile, another poll published around that time by USA Today showed that 46 percent of Republican voters were willing to switch parties if Trump abandoned the GOP and launched his own party.
The poll also found that 60 percent of voters favored him running in 2024, 76 percent were willing to support his nomination in the GOP primary and 85 percent were ready to vote for him in the 2024 general election.
While DeSantis may be a rising star, what he does not yet possess are numbers like these.
Wake up call for GOP: Poll shows staggering number of Trump voters ready to abandon party for him https://t.co/pADsH4DJi4 pic.twitter.com/YFJARQ5HK3
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 22, 2021
DeSantis isn’t the only Republican who’d be likely fated to fail if he tried to run against Trump in 2014. So are all the Republicans who voted to impeach or convict the former president earlier this year, especially Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney.
Ever since the Jan. 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol, Cheney has centered her entire existence within the Republican Party on opposing the former president. This obsessive animosity cost the congresswoman her chair seat on House Republican Conference.
Trump responds after Cheney booted from GOP leadership, vowing to keep him away from Oval Office https://t.co/NwAuIDlgTY
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) May 13, 2021
Her anti-Trump rhetoric and behavior is also poised to cost the congresswoman her congressional seat.
“Internal polling conducted for Trump’s PAC in January and, more recently, for the pro-Trump Club for Growth show a majority of Wyoming Republicans disapproving of Cheney and continuing strong support for Trump,” Politico reported last month.
“The collapse in support is a remarkable fall from grace for Cheney, who just last year passed on an open Senate seat in her state to remain in House leadership instead.”
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