A stroll poll has shown that former US President Donald Trump has been edged out by a thin margin by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Organizers of the poll conducted during the Western Conservative Summit said the Republican Governor has a slight edge over for the 2024 nomination. The straw poll was conducted at the largest gathering of conservatives in the western US
The organizers of the poll stated that 74 percent voters approved DeSantis as a presidential candidate, whereas Trump managed to get 71 percent approval rating. Texas Senator Ted Cruz came third with 43 percent, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo received 39 percent votes, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott was in the fifth position with 36 percent votes.
Why Approval Voting Method?
The straw poll used the approval voting method – a way of selection where voters have multiple responses to each question, enabling voting percentage to breach the 100 percent mark. Poll conductor Frank Attwood spoke to Colorado Politics and explained the reason behind choosing approval voting method. He said that this method minimizes spoilers and sabotage and gives viability and visibility to minor candidates.
The summit was held both online as well as offline. It was organized by Colorado Christian University's Centennial Institute. Reports claimed that nearly 500 people took part in the summit held at a hotel in Denver in person. But the number of those who attended the summit online is said to be tens of thousands, according to Colorado Politics. These straw polls have been conducted since 2010.
Voters' Policy Preferences
Though the top candidates were Republicans, the polls were not limited to Republican candidates. Thus, even Democrats were included in the list of candidates including current U.S. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The voting was not held just considering the profile of candidates. But multiple responses also included voters' preferences in terms of policies. Accordingly, voters gave top priority to issues of immigration and border security, followed by election integrity, religious freedom, federal budget and gun rights.
It can be noted that in the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)'s poll held from February 25 to February 28, 2021, Trump had secured the first place and DeSantis was placed second. Trump had won 55 percent approval and DeSantis had got 22 percent voters' approval. But Trump was taken out of the CPAC's presidential candidates' list, DeSantis was voted by 41 percent attendees as their top choice for 2024 elections.