Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is growing his support among the GOP, with recent polls suggesting he is now more popular than former President Donald Trump. The reason for his rise in popularity? Sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
To Democrats, DeSantis relocating 50 migrants on an airconditioned flight to one of the nation’s most sought-after vacation destinations — a move they made voluntarily — is torture. To Republicans and many right-leaning independents, that outrage doesn’t resonate.
On Saturday (September 17), a New York Times columnist suggested — based on the Martha’s Vineyard flight — that DeSantis is worse than Trump.
This sentiment points to those on the left fearing DeSantis as an opponent in 2024, and the fear seems to be valid. A recent USA Today-Suffolk University poll shows DeSantis leading Trump by eight percentage points among Republican voters in a hypothetical 2024 matchup.
DeSantis’s rise in popularity also coincides with sentiment surrounding the FBI’s raid of the former President’s Mar-a-Lago. At first, Republicans rallied behind Trump following news of the FBI’s raid.
But in the month since, more have begun questioning why the former President was keeping classified documents at his private residence.
This shift in support is most evident in the Impact Social analysis. Impact Social was hired by pro-DeSantis PAC Ready for Ron to analyze data from a “focus group” of 40,000 social media accounts across Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
The data showed that social media posts for DeSantis trended positive in August and early September. Yet, notwithstanding a brief reprieve for Trump after the FBI raid, social media sentiment returned to being overwhelmingly negative.