Conservative students see Trump and DeSantis as possible 2024 GOP candidates

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Former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor 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 preferred.

Fox News Digital interviewed several activists at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit, asking who they wanted to see as the next Republican candidate for president. Trump and DeSantis were the most frequently mentioned names, with Trump holding an edge 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,” said Nathan Koenig of Louisiana. “He really shook the swamp and no one else in the Republican Party can do it like he did.”

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

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

But a few activists didn’t entirely agree with Trump in 2024. California’s Christian Veiga said, “I go back and forth between Trump and DeSantis.” Ella Reed of Tennessee said she wanted Sen. Tim Scott, R.S.C., to run because he “brings a new voice and a new kind of vibe to the new energy we’re seeing in the conservative movement.” .

Florida's Alora Peters speaks with Fox News Digital at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit

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

Florida’s Alora Peters, meanwhile, said she wants DeSantis to run for president because she likes his policies on COVID-19 and his focus on families. “It’s something that excites me,” she said.

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But most of those who spoke to Fox News Digital said they wanted Trump.

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

California activist Christian Viega speaks with Fox News Digital at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa, Florida.

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

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“Honestly, I’d love to see Donald Trump, but I feel like it might be tough because I know he’s seen as very problematic in America,” said Jayde Morrissette of Minnesota. “But I think he can save America and help solve a lot of the problems right now.”

Trump and DeSantis are not the only two Republicans to apply for a possible race in 2024. Former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan are among the other possible candidates.

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But Trump’s decision weighs heavily on the rest — and it could be coming soon. Asked by Fox News Digital on Saturday if his father could announce he was running in the midterm elections, 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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