DeSantis Downplays Straw Polling Showing Him Besting Trump
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Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis downplayed a new straw poll showing him outperforming former President Donald Trump, sidestepping questions about the results.

“I don’t do straw polls,” he said Wednesday. “They just put my name into these things, you know? It’s just, like, so what am I supposed to do? Like they sell merchandise and everything. I kind of would like to get royalties on that.”

A 2024 presidential election straw poll conducted at the Western Conservative Summit in Colorado found that 71% approve of a DeSantis 2024 run, putting the Florida governor more than three points ahead of Trump. Meanwhile, that survey found that no other candidate had drawn even 30% support.

Another 2024 straw poll conducted at the Wisconsin Republican Convention found that DeSantis received nearly 38% of the vote, leaving Trump six points behind.

“There is no real party standard-bearer at the moment, and DeSantis in many eyes is starting to define the post-Trump party,” GOP operative Tyler Sandberg, who is based in Colorado, told POLITICO. “He fights more about policy and less on his Twitter account.”

“It did not surprise me that DeSantis did well, but, yeah, it kind of surprised me that he did better than President Trump, again,” Dick Wadhams, another veteran Colorado GOP consultant who is the former chair of that state’s Republican Party, told the publication. “I go to a lot of Republican events and have sensed for some time that even with Republicans DeSantis has quite an appeal because of his success as governor of Florida.”

The governor’s popularity with conservatives is rising nationally — and this is the second year in a row that he has topped Trump at the Western Conservative Summit, known as “the largest gathering of conservatives in the Western United States,” POLITICO noted.

Earlier this week, Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich told POLITICO that Trump has “unprecedented strength” and that his support has never been higher.

DeSantis has repeatedly refrained from addressing 2024 or pitting himself against Trump, insisting during a June 2021 interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation that he’s focused on Florida.


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