Conservative students weigh Trump and DeSantis as possible 2024 GOP nominees

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Tampa, Fla. – Former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are two of the top potential GOP presidential contenders for 2024, and several attendees at a Turning Point USA conference this weekend revealed which candidate they prefer.

Fox News Digital interviewed several activists at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit, asking who they want to see as the next Republican presidential nominee. Trump and DeSantis were the most commonly mentioned names, with Trump holding an advantage among the small sample of young activists. 

“Donald Trump, of course, the man himself. He created the MAGA movement, and he deserves to be our leader,” Nathan Koenig of Louisiana said. “He really shook up the swamp and no one else in the Republican Party can do that the way he did.”

Conservative students weigh Trump and DeSantis as possible 2024 GOP nominees

Nathan Koenig of Louisiana speaks with Fox News Digital at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa, Fla.
(Tyler Olson and Nikolas Lanum/Fox News)

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“I love DeSantis, but Trump is a little bit more, you know, going to push it,” Mikayla Locker of Texas said. “Not that DeSantis won’t. But I think that he needs to come in and fix the mess that’s been made.”

But a few activists were not fully on board with Trump in 2024. Christian Veiga of California said, “I go back and forth between Trump and DeSantis.” Ella Reed of Tennessee said she wants Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., to run, because he “brings a new voice and a new kind of vibe to the new energy that we’re seeing in the conservative movement.” 

Conservative students weigh Trump and DeSantis as possible 2024 GOP nominees

Alora Peters of Florida speaks with Fox News Digital at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit
(Tyler Olson/Fox News)

Alora Peters of Florida, meanwhile, said she wants DeSantis to run for president because she likes his policies on COVID-19 and his emphasis on families. “That’s something I’m passionate about,” she said. 

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But most who spoke to Fox News Digital said they want Trump. 

“I think we’ve had enough time without Trump to realize that we do really miss him,” Erica Rodriguez of New Mexico said. “I think it’s time that we let him go back and kind of clean up the mess we got ourselves into.” 

Conservative students weigh Trump and DeSantis as possible 2024 GOP nominees

Christian Viega, an activist from California, speaks with Fox News Digital at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa, Fla.
(Tyler Olson and Nikolas Lanum/Fox News)

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“I would honestly like to see Donald Trump, but I feel like it could be hard since I know he’s seen as very problematic in America,” Jayde Morrissette of Minnesota said. “But I do think he can save America and help fix a lot of the issues that are going on right now.”

Trump and DeSantis are not the only two Republicans posturing for a possible 2024 run. Former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan are among the other possible contenders.

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But Trump’s decision looms large over the rest – and it could come soon. Asked by Fox News Digital Saturday if his father could announce he’s running for reelection before the midterms, Donald Trump Jr., did not take that off the table. 

Fox Nation is a sponsor of the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit.

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