DeSantis jokingly dismisses straw poll results that show him as preferred choice over Trump for 2024

While arguably the biggest question about 2024 is whether former President Donald Trump will run for a second term, close behind is the question of whether increasingly popular Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) will challenge Trump with his own bid for the White House.

Recent straw polls have shown more Republican voters prefer DeSantis over Trump, but when asked to respond to those polls, the Florida governor jokingly dismissed them as relatively meaningless, the Daily Caller reported.

Western conservatives pick DeSantis over Trump

The most recent straw poll that showed DeSantis besting Trump came Saturday at the 2022 Western Conservative Summit outside Denver, Colorado, where participants were asked to specify their top choices to be the GOP nominee in 2024.

Out of 1,114 respondents, 71 percent chose DeSantis (791) over the 68 percent who picked Trump (754), with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) rounding out the top three with a distant 29 percent (320).

According to Florida Politics, Gov. DeSantis was asked about those and other recent straw poll results during an event Wednesday in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

“I don’t do straw polls. They just put my name into these things, you know?” DeSantis replied. “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.”

DeSantis racks up a string of straw poll victories

Florida Politics noted that Gov. DeSantis had come out on top over former President Trump by a count of 53-47 percent in a straw poll of voters in the Jacksonville, Florida, area.

Likewise, WisPolitics recently reported that a straw poll of attendees at the Wisconsin Republican Party Convention found that 38 percent backed DeSantis to be the nominee compared to 32 percent who supported Trump.

The Daily Caller further noted that this is actually the second year in a row that DeSantis has been the preferred choice over Trump at the annual Western Conservative Summit, as the Florida governor garnered 74 percent over the former president’s 71 percent support at the 2021 gathering.

DeSantis emerging as a potential “standard-bearer” for a “post-Trump” GOP

Politico also reported on the results of the 2022 Western Conservative Summit straw poll and elicited some revealing comments from veteran GOP operatives regarding the apparent growing preference of Republican voters for DeSantis instead of Trump.

Dick Wadhams, the former chair of the Colorado GOP, told the outlet, “It did not surprise me that DeSantis did well, but, yeah, it kind of surprised me that he did better than President Trump, again.”

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

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