LAKEWOOD, Col. — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has won a non-partisan straw poll taken during this weekend’s 2022 Western Conservative Summit. Poll results showed 71% of poll participants prefer Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over Donald Trump (68%) as a candidate for president of the United States in the 2024 election. Neither DeSantis nor Trump spoke at the event.
The Western Conservative Summit straw poll win for DeSantis is the second in as many years.
The Centennial Institute, Colorado Christian University’s public policy think tank, hosts the annual Western Conservative Summit, one of the largest annual gatherings of conservatives in the western United States. This year’s Summit was held live in-person and online.
The straw poll, offered both online and in person at the Summit, employs an “Approval Voting method” that allows participants to cast multiple responses to each question. Participants were asked to choose all the candidates they “approve” for a particular office. This allows sentiment and the types of candidates that attendees want to see elected to office to be more accurately reflected.
2024 Presidential Election
Question one asked Summit attendees to vote for all the 2024 presidential candidates they approve of out of 24 choices of popular figures across the political spectrum. Candidates listed included both Republican and Democratic candidates. The top five candidates, in order of most approval to least, were:
- Ron DeSantis (71%)
- Donald Trump (68%)
- Sen. Ted Cruz (29%)
- Dr. Ben Carson (24%)
- Sarah Huckabee Sanders (18%)
Former Vice President Pence came in tenth place and former congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard came in eleventh.
2022 Colorado Gubernatorial Election
The straw poll also asked attendees to vote for all 2022 candidates for Colorado governor they approve of out of the 9 candidates running (primaries do not take place until June 28). The top four candidates, in order of most approval to least, were:
- Heidi Ganahl (62%)
- Greg Lopez (48%)
- Danielle Neuschwanger (14%)
- Colorado Governor Jared Polis (3%).
2022 Colorado U.S. Senator Election
Question three asked attendees to vote for all 2022 Colorado candidates for U.S. Senate they approve of out of the 8 candidates running (primaries do not take place until June 28). Top three candidates, in order of most approval to least, were:
- Ron Hanks (59%)
- Joe O’Dea (51%)
- Michael Bennett (2%).
Voters’ Top Issues
Question four asked attendees to mark any of 25 policy issues as most important to them. The top ten most important issues were:
- Education/Parental Rights (77%)
- Energy Independence (75%)
- Gun Rights (74%)
- Election Integrity (69%)
- Crime (68%)
- Religious Freedom (61%)
- Pro-Life (58%)
- Immigration/Border Security (58%)
- Federal Budget/Debt (57%)
- National Defense (52%).
The 2022 Western Conservative Summit, with the theme “Time to Saddle Up and Ride,” focused on the top issues facing the nation, especially those affecting the Western United States. Speakers emphasized the importance of boldly advancing faith, family and freedom for future generations. Panel conversations explored pro-life issues, election integrity and the future of conservatism in America.
Speakers at the Summit included: Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, GOP Arkansas candidate for governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh, former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, Isabel Brown, Cal Thomas, Brad Stine, Dr. Kevin Roberts, and many others.
Jeff Hunt, director of the Centennial Institute, is available for comment or interview on the straw poll results or this weekend’s Summit.
The 2022 Western Conservative Summit Approval Voting Poll results can be viewed here.
More information on the Centennial Institute is available here.
More information on the 2022 Western Conservative Summit is available here.