A Washington Times/CPAC poll released on Sunday showed that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) would dominate the Republican field of presidential candidates for 2024 if former President Donald Trump decides not to run for president again.
The poll, which found that over 95% of respondents approved of the job that Trump did as president, showed that voters were concerned most about election integrity, border security, constitutional rights, and economic issues.
More than two-thirds of respondents said that they wanted Trump to run again, while 15% said they did not, and 17% were unsure. A staggering 95% of respondents want the GOP to continue pursuing the policies of Trump.
If Trump were to run for president again, 55% of respondents said they would vote for him, followed by 21% for DeSantis, and 4% for South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. If Trump is not on the ticket in 2024, 43% of respondents said that they would vote for DeSantis, followed by 11% for Noem.
Here are the findings from the straw poll:
The top issues for respondents, who were allowed to select three, ranked greatest to least:
- Election Integrity – 62%
- Constitutional Rights – 48%
- Immigration/Border Wall – 35%
- Reopening the Economy – 32%
- Second Amendment – 26%
- Taxes/Budget/Spending – 22%
- National Security/Foreign Policy – 20%
- Dignity/Pro-Life – 16%
When it comes to former President Donald Trump’s issue agenda and policies, which of the following comes closest to your personal opinion?
- Republicans should continue Donald Trump’s issue agenda and policies – 95%
- Republicans should change direction and move away from Donald Trump’s issue agenda and policies – 3%
- Unsure – 2%
Would you like to see Donald Trump run for president again in 2024?
- Yes – 68%
- No – 15%
- Unsure – 17%
Thinking ahead, if the 2024 Republican primary for president in your state were held today among the following candidates, for whom would you vote?
- Donald Trump – 55%
- Ron DeSantis – 21%
- Kristi Noem – 4%
- Nikki Haley – 3%
- Mike Pompeo – 2%
Now among a different list of candidates, which does not include Trump, if the 2024 Republican primary for president in your state were held today, for whom would you vote?
- Ron DeSantis – 43%
- Kristi Noem – 11%
- Donald Trump Jr. – 8%
- Mike Pompeo – 7%
- Ted Cruz – 7%
— CPAC 2021 (@CPAC) February 28, 2021
DeSantis spoke at CPAC on Friday where he highlighted actions that he has taken to advance the issues most important to conservatives.
“In far too many places, we see schools closed, businesses shuttered, and lives destroyed,” DeSantis said. “And while so many governors over the last year, had kept locking people down, Florida lifted people up. Florida is leading in protecting our vulnerable residents, saving the economy, and safeguarding the freedom of our people. In Florida, schools are open. Every Floridian has a right to earn a living and all businesses have a right to operate.”
“Florida’s also leading in protecting our people from political censorship and in holding big tech accountable,” DeSantis continued. “When our legislature convenes next month, it will pass and I will sign the most ambitious reforms yet proposed for combating political censorship and deep platforming, for preventing big tech from interfering in our elections, and for safeguarding the privacy of your personal data. In Florida, we are not going to let the terms of the debate in our country be set by oligarchs in Silicon Valley.”
“Florida’s leading on the issues that matter to conservatives,” he said. “We don’t spout hollow rhetoric, we take decisive action. And what’s true in Florida is true for conservatives across the nation, we cannot, we will not go back to the days of the failed Republican establishment of yesteryear.”
“We reject open borders and instead support American sovereignty and the American worker,” he added. “Building a movement on the foundation of amnesty and cheap foreign labor is like building a house on a field of quicksand. We reject weakness in the face of the threat posed by China, including their actions in international trade. We reject military adventurism, instead support a strong defense solely for the purpose of protecting our nation and its people.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.