DeSantis narrowly beats Trump for GOP presidential nomination in new conservative poll


(NewsNation) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was favored to edge out former President Donald Trump for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination in a poll held at an annual conservative conference.

The annual straw poll, taken at the Western Conservative Summit organized by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, put DeSantis as the frontrunner, with the backing of 71% of respondents according to reports. Trump came in a close second with about 67% of the vote followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in third and Ben Carson in fourth.

Voters were allowed to make more than one choice, so the percentage of the poll added up to more than 100%. DeSantis also won the straw poll last year and won the highest support at a Wisconsin GOP convention in May.

While there are other polls that lean in favor of the former president, DeSantis coming out on top is significant. A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll shared exclusively with The Hill in January put Trump as the early favorite. The support for Trump demonstrates the continued hold that he has over Republican voters.

The poll also comes amid heightened tensions between Trump and DeSantis, who is up for reelection this year While the two men have been close political allies, Trump has bristled privately at DeSantis’s refusal to say whether he would run for president if Trump decides to launch a campaign for the White House. 

Neither DeSantis nor Trump have formally announced a run for the nation’s highest office. Trump continues to tease a potential run in 2024, most recently at the NRA meeting in Houston.

In terms of the Democratic nomination, President Joe Biden has indicated that he plans to run for a second term in the White House in 2024

The Hill contributed to this report.

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