Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won the straw poll at the Young Republican National Federation’s annual conference in Dallas, Texas, in a rebuke against former President Donald Trump. The convention was held between August 16 and August 20. The YRNF represents Republicans aged 18-40.
The straw poll was conducted via text message. Some attendees reported that the poll was conducted haphazardly and that the conference was disorganized. A total of 36.6% of the straw poll participants wanted DeSantis, while Trump won 35.4%.
In the next tier of candidates, Vivek Ramaswamy won 9%, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley won 7.5%, and South Carolina Gov. Tim Scott won 5.5%.
The poll was unscientific, and 6% of the conference attendees voted for another candidate.
Ron DeSantis Had Strong Support Among Poll Participants
It shows that DeSantis enjoyed strong support among conference participants; however, it was not a comprehensive poll of how younger Republicans feel about their choices.
Trump campaign supporter and former Breitbart editor Raheem Kassam wrote on X calling the poll bogus: “Just a reminder, in 2016 these same people at CPAC voted for Cruz, then Rubio, then Trump.”
Ron DeSantis supporter Chris Loesch tweeted that he thought the poll was accurate. “This tracks with what I see on the ground,” Loesch wrote. “Nationwide. It’s just a straw poll, don’t be so touchy.”
Newsweek reported that many younger voters appeared attracted to the idea of having a younger candidate.
Trump Dominates Mainstream Polls
Trump continues to dominate DeSantis in mainstream polls, but FiveThirtyEight notes a small slippage in Trump’s numbers since the federal and Georgia indictments for the former president’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot was handed down.
“Only five combinations of pollsters and sponsors conducted polls both in the period between the two indictments (Aug. 1 and Aug. 14) and after the Georgia one (since Aug. 14).2 That’s important because, while we can theoretically compare, say, Emerson College’s Aug. 16-17 survey to its June 19-20 survey, it would be impossible to say that Trump’s 3-percentage-point decline is due to the Georgia indictment. It could have been due to the third indictment, or any other combination of events that occurred over those two months,” FiveThirtyEight Senior Elections Analyst Nathaniel Rakich wrote.
“Then, to make matters even more complicated, only two of those pollsters wrapped their post-indictment poll before the Aug. 23 Republican presidential debate, which also could have shifted views of Trump. And those two disagree about how much the race shifted after the indictment. According to Morning Consult, Trump’s national support among potential primary voters barely budged, from 57 percent to 58 percent. But according to Premise, Trump actually boosted his numbers among Republican registered voters over this period, from 54 percent to 60 percent.”
Ron DeSantis faces strong headwinds due to his poor showing in the polls against Trump. The founder of the “Ron to the Rescue” PAC decided to switch sides and endorse Trump, saying that DeSantis’ campaign had failed to launch. In his announcement, Republican strategist John Thomas accused DeSantis of making “rookie” mistakes.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.
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