DeSantis tops Trump in 2024 presidential straw poll

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida breaks COVID-19 hospitalization record with more than 10,200 patients 'Freedom-loving' conservatives stoked latest round of infection and death Florida reports record 21,000 COVID-19 cases in single day, highest since start of pandemic MORE (R) ran narrowly ahead of former President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Gosar's siblings pen op-ed urging for his resignation: 'You are immune to shame' Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate MORE in a straw poll of potential 2024 candidates in a survey conducted over the weekend at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver.

Of attendees who responded to the survey, 74.12 percent said they would approve of DeSantis for president in three years, compared with 71.43 percent who said the same of Trump. DeSantis won 275 votes, while Trump got 265. 

The duo had wide leads over the rest of the sprawling field, with Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUp next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Texas) coming in third at 42.86 percent approval.



The poll underscores DeSantis’s popularity with the GOP’s conservative base.

After getting elected governor in 2018 as a largely unknown House member, DeSantis has since become a darling of the Republican grassroots over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

DeSantis was notoriously resistant to imposing widespread shutdowns in Florida. The move garnered a flood of criticism from Democrats, who accused him of being too cavalier about the illness, but Republicans praised his policies as a boon to the state economy and pointed out that Florida’s death toll did not stray significantly from those of other states that adopted stricter measures.

Still, Trump would be a juggernaut if he ran for president in three years and would likely clear much of the primary field.

Neither DeSantis nor Trump has officially declared intentions for 2024, but the former president has teased a third bid for president.

“I'm absolutely enthused. I look forward to doing an announcement at the right time,” he said last month. “As you know, it's very early. But I think people are going to be very, very happy when I make a certain announcement.”