- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 20, 2021

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis edged former President Trump in a weekend presidential straw poll conducted at the annual Western Conservative Summit in Denver.

Mr. DeSantis received 74.12% support in response to a poll asking conference attendees to “vote for all candidates you approve of for President in 2024,” followed by Mr. Trump, who garnered 71.43% support, according to results issued Saturday.

The survey of 371 respondents released at the end of the two-day summit offered an unscientific but intriguing glimpse at how conservative voters are leaning well ahead of the 2024 presidential race.

Coming in third behind the two Florida Republicans was Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, who received 42.86% support, followed by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with 39.35%, and Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina Republican, with 35.58%.

Other GOP figures receiving support in descending order were South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem; Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas; Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky; Donald Trump Jr.; former Vice President Mike Pence; Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri; Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas; and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Bringing up the rear were the Democrats, all of whom fell below 3% support, but the leaders were former first lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who each took 2.96%.

President Biden placed behind them with 2.43% support, ahead of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg at 2.19%.

The poll also asked respondents to “mark all the issue(s) you feel are important,” and topping the list was “Immigration/Border Security,” followed by election integrity and religious freedom.

The two-day summit, themed “Frontier Freedom” and hosted by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Attendance at the rally on the right, now in its 12th year, was capped at 500 in-person attendees over coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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