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DENVER (LifeSiteNews) — More conservatives would like to see Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis run for president in 2024 than another White House run from former President Donald Trump, according to a straw poll from this past weekend’s Western Conservative Conference.

Business Insider reports that the conference, organized by Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute, asked attendees to “vote for ALL the candidates you would approve for President.” 71% of the 1,114 respondents said they would vote for DeSantis, while almost 68% said they would vote for Trump.

The poll, which echoes similar results the conference found last year, was not scientific and did not challenge attendees to choose between the two men, but does highlight the governor’s broad appeal, which some argue should elevate him above the 45th president.

Trump, who has repeatedly hinted at a bid for a second term, continues to enjoy an intensely loyal base of supporters, as well as many who believe he deserves another chance at a victory they feel he was cheated out of due to vote fraud and media suppression of damaging information about Biden. 

Others, however, have soured on Trump due to his mixed handling of conservative priorities such as judicial nominees and reforming federal agencies, his continued advocacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, and his endorsement of Republicans at odds with the conservative base, such as Kevin McCarthy and Mehmet Oz.

By contrast, DeSantis has aggressively worked to establish a record of conservative results on an array of issues, most notably COVID-19, transgenderism, and education content. His record hasn’t been completely spotless from a conservative perspective, however; in February, DeSantis extended liability protections for doctors who follow federal COVID guidelines, which critics say could let establishment-minded providers evade accountability for the harm of practices and products such as early treatment denial, remdesivir, or the COVID vaccines.

Overall, though DeSantis’s leadership has reaped significant dividends for Florida Republicans:

NBC News reports that some insiders say Trump might announce his 2024 candidacy as soon as July; others suggest he save the news for after this fall’s congressional midterm elections. DeSantis has so far refused to divulge any 2024 plans.

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