Donald Trump edges Ron DeSantis in Colorado conservative straw poll for first time in 3 years

The former President scored 4.5 percentage points more than Florida’s Governor.

It doesn’t appear Donald Trump’s recent indictment is hurting him among Colorado conservatives.

In fact, it appears to be helping.

After two years of narrowly losing to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump took the top spot Saturday in a straw poll at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver.

Just one day after being indicted on federal charges of mishandling classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, the former President outpaced DeSantis 40.3% to 35.8% in the technically nonpartisan poll.

The other Republican candidates, who included political commentator Larry Elder and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, trailed far behind the frontrunners. Elders scored 7.7%, while Scott had 5.8%.

“It’s a two-horse race for the Republican nomination for President,” summit co-Chair Jeff Hunt said in a statement.

“The results are clear — Western grassroots conservatives want a fighter who will take on the radical Left and the institutions that are destroying America’s founding principles.

This year, 1,500 people attended the Western Conservative Summit hosted by the Centennial Institute, a public policy think tank headquartered at Colorado Christian University. Thousands more streamed the summit online through digital partners, a Centennial Institute press note said.

Attendees answered a second question using “approval voting,” a method that allows participants to cast multiple responses. They were asked to choose all the candidates they approve of for a specific office.

“Approval voting minimizes the dilemma of choosing between the candidates you really like and the candidate you think is most electable,” said Colorado resident Frank Atwood, a 2022 candidate for the U.S. Senate and member of the Approval Voting Party.

Voters chose from a list of 21 potential candidates, whom the Centennial Institute described as “all popular figures spanning the political spectrum.” DeSantis won with 66.9% approval compared to 63.4% for Trump, 44.9% for Elder, 35.3% for Scott and 24.2% for entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. polled at 14.4%, while President Joe Biden took less than 1%.

Asked to rank the importance of 24 policy issues, poll participants selected election integrity and religious freedom as most pressing, with 73% choosing either as the No. 1 issue today. Education and parental rights was tops for 72% of respondents, followed by immigration/border security (71%), gun rights (71%), the federal budget/debt (70%), national defense (61%), crime (60%), abortion (54%) and China (53%).

Trump bragged Saturday about the sizable lead he’s maintained over DeSantis in most national and statewide polls during the Georgia Republican Convention, where he again blasted the Governor for his alleged disloyalty.

“You endorse people. You get them elected … you get involved, you endorse them, you do other things, you get them up, they win the election in a landslide and then they say, ‘We’re looking forward to running against Trump,’” Trump said. “Oh, that’s nice. Now they are not looking so forward to it anymore.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Suze

    June 11, 2023 at 11:41 am

    Can Americans not read the indictment???

    • Dont Say FLA

      June 11, 2023 at 7:25 pm

      Most still-MAGAs probably can’t read the indictment.

      They could, however, listen to Trump’s AG Bill Barr talk about it on Fox News Sunday, saying how the NY indictment and both impeachments were political nonsense but Box Gate is absolutely real and Trump did it entirely to himself and has no one else to blame but himself.

      But they won’t. They don’t want to learn or admit they got had.

      People don’t enjoy having their own mistakes pointed out to them. They tend to dig in. So now they are digging in.

  • Donald Edges Ronald

    June 11, 2023 at 7:47 pm

    Donald Trump edged Ron DeSantis every night in Rhonda’s dreams for the last three years while Casey was in her own room going bzz bzz bzz, fantasizing about how she could get out of there. And then she connived a way to meet Elon Musk.

  • Joe

    June 11, 2023 at 8:39 pm

    Sorry Ron — not good enough!

  • Life is Like a Box

    June 12, 2023 at 9:20 am

    Life is Like a Box of Classified Documents. Ron, Forrest, Ron!

  • clay shentrup

    June 12, 2023 at 2:58 pm

    the real story here is approval voting. freed from the antiquated restriction that you can only choose one candidate, participants could signal that desantis was more broadly preferred. essentially, approval voting fixed the “spoiler effect”.

Comments are closed.


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