The results of a straw poll of conservative voters this weekend is spotlighting the appeal of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.
DeSantis came out on top of a 2024 straw poll at the Western Conservative Summit, narrowly edging former President Donald Trump, according to organizers of the conference.
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The straw poll at the summit, which was hosted by Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute, asked people attending the gathering both in-person and on-line to vote for all of the potential 2024 presidential contenders that they approve of – out of 31 choices of both Republicans and Democrats.
DeSantis, a first-term governor and Trump ally who’s become very popular among conservatives nationwide since the start of the coronavirus pandemic for his resistance to COVID lockdowns and other restrictions, scored a 74% approval, followed by the former president at 71%. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 43%, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 39%, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, at 36%, rounded out the top five in the straw poll.
According to organizers, roughly 500 people attended the 12th annual summit in person at a hotel in Denver, Colorado, with tens of thousands watching online. None of the potential contenders spoke at the conference.
The Florida governor came in second to Trump in late February at a straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference – the biggest and oldest annual gathering of conservative activists and leaders which is better known by its acronym CPAC. And DeSantis, whom pundits consider a potential 2024 Republican presidential contender, made headlines as he easily topped a second straw poll at CPAC that didn’t include Trump.
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Pompeo launched a new political organization that aims to help conservative candidates running in the 2022 midterm elections, as Republicans hope to win back majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
In an interview with Fox News, the former three-term congressman from Kansas who served as CIA director and later as America’s top diplomat in the Trump administration., emphasized that the mission of the Champion American Values PAC, or CAVPAC, “is to help conservative candidates all across America. We want to make sure that we can elect people who care about American workers, America’s middle class.”
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And Pompeo, a Fox News contributor, tweeted that “I’ve begun my efforts
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