Conservative Conference 2024 Straw Poll Winner: Donald Tr — No Wait, Ron DeSantis!


At the Western Conservative Summit this weekend, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis beat former president Donald Trump in a presidential preference straw poll.

DeSantis just edged out Trump in the poll, conducted by the Centennial Institute at their event. The approval poll asks participants to select each potential candidate they would approve of for president in 2024.

Because each participant can choose multiple answers, the end result shows who was popular among the most people and so on.

The other candidates in the top five were Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, at #3, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo at #4, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott at #5.

Gov. Kristi Noem and Sen. Tom Cotton were tied for 6th, and the list went on from there to include Sen. Rand Paul, Donald Trump Jr., Rep. Dan Crenshaw.

Former Vice President and current bane of Trump Mike Pence came in down the list at tenth place. Pence was met with some booing and shouts of “traitor” at another conservative conference on Friday. That event held in Florida, interestingly enough.

A press release from the Western Conservative Summit added that a second question in the straw poll “asked attendees to mark any of 25 policy issues as most important to them.”

That result was topped by “Immigration/Border Security” at 82%, followed immediately by “Election Integrity” at 79& and “Religious Freedom” at 75%. The border was and remains a top issue for Trump voters, and the election and voting have been a top Trump and GOP priority, especially at the state level, since the 2020 election, obviously.

The deficit and gun rights rounded out the top five on policy issues.

It is a bit of system shock to see anyone out-poll Trump among conservatives, but the popularity of Florida’s governor has been growing exponentially among Republican voters. In the CPAC straw poll earlier this year, reasonably expected to be a Trump blow-out, DeSantis earned a respectable second place.

What’s more, DeSantis pulled out ahead of Trump as the 2024 favorite in prediction betting markets.

The Summit was held in Denver, Colorado over the weekend, and was met with self-described communist and antifa protesters, resulting in some violence and confrontations.

Other speakers at the annual event included Rick Santorum, Lauren Boebert, and Andy Ngo.

The straw poll of 371 participants can be found here.

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Caleb Howe is an editor and writer focusing on politics and media. Former managing editor at RedState. Published at USA Today, Blaze, National Review, Daily Wire, American Spectator, AOL News, Asylum, fortune cookies, manifestos, napkins, fridge drawings...