KEY POINTS

  • DeSantis earned more than 74% of the votes in the recent straw poll
  • Other top candidates were Sen. Ted Cruz, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Sen. Tim Scott
  • Trump previously expressed interest in running for House Speaker

A recent straw poll among conservative voters found Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., leading as the top candidate for the presidency in 2024, edging former President Donald Trump. 

The 2024 straw poll conducted at the Western Conservative Summit and hosted by the Colorado Christian university’s Centennial Institute asked attendees to vote for potential 2024 presidential candidates they’d likely vote for. The list of possible candidates included the names of both Democrats and Republicans. 

The poll showed that DeSantis, a known Trump ally, was the most popular conservative figure, scoring a 74.12% approval rate from the attendees. DeSantis became a popular Republican politician in recent months for refusing to impose lockdowns and restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Following closely behind DeSantis is Trump, who scored 71.43%. Trump had previously suggested plans to run for a congressional seat in Florida and replacing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at her post.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Friday appeared to suggest that Trump told him plans to take over the role of House Speaker. “You know, I’ve talked to President Trump many times. He tells me he wants to be Speaker, and I think he should be president,” he said

The other candidates who made the top three on the straw poll were Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, with 42.86%, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with 39.35%. and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., with 35.58% of the votes.  

DeSantis had previously come in second to Trump at a straw poll conducted in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He finished first in a poll where the former president’s name was not included. 

"I think he's the odds-on favorite to be the next president," Joe Gruters, a Florida state senator and chairman of the state’s Republican party said

The poll in the Western Conservative Summit also asked attendees to mark the issues that they felt were the most important. More than 80% voted for immigration and border security, with nearly the same number of votes for election integrity. 

Other pressing issues included in the poll were religious freedom, federal budget, gun rights, national defense, and energy independence. 

As president Donald Trump repeatedly attacked Democrats including Adam Schiff of leaking embarrassing details on the investigation into his campaign's alleged collusion with Russia As president Donald Trump repeatedly attacked Democrats including Adam Schiff of leaking embarrassing details on the investigation into his campaign's alleged collusion with Russia Photo: AFP / MANDEL NGAN