Authored by John Ransom via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
An analysis of social media posts shared with The Epoch Times shows growing momentum for Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis as the GOP presidential nominee in 2024 among voters who aren’t solidly in the Trump camp.
“A sizable portion of the positive discussion (32 percent) speak of him as preferable to Trump,” said the summary analysis of the research paid for by the Ready for Ron Committee—a draft committee that is encouraging DeSantis to run for president.
“To them, he is the rightful heir and suggest the former president step aside and allow the younger man to run the gauntlet,” the analysis said of the majority of surveyed voters.
The research, which was conducted by Impact Social, looked at 40,000 “swing” voters on social media and categorized them into ten segments, from “Disillusioned Trump” voters, Obama-turned-Trump voters, to “Bernie Sanders” voters.
Trump Gets More Traction, But More Attacks Too
While the name Trump is more prominent on social media than DeSantis, Impact Social reported that Trump-related posts attract more negative sentiment, including among right-leaners who would otherwise favor the GOP in 2024.
Impact Social analyzed approximately 93,000 posts mentioning Trump and around 8,000 posts mentioning DeSantis made by the swing voters from June 1 to June 14.
“It is interesting to note that, despite many of these floating voters emanating from the right of the political spectrum, only a relatively small number come to Trump’s defense,” Impact Social said.
The recent hearings regarding the Jan. 6 breach also haven’t helped Trump among undecided voters. While the hearings have fallen far short of proving that an insurrection occurred in a legal sense, they certainly didn’t burnish the image of the former president.
“Well, I think in retrospect, I think it would have been very smart to put [Republicans on the committee] and again, I wasn’t involved in it from a standpoint so I never looked at it too closely but I think it would have been good if we had representation,” Trump told conservative radio host Wayne Allen Root earlier this month, blaming Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) for a “bad decision” on declining to put someone on the Jan. 6 House Committee.
Former President Remains Popular
Polling continues to show that Trump has a commanding lead against DeSantis, who is not well-known outside of Florida or outside the GOP activists base, even as DeSantis is reported by some to be eating into Trump’s lead as of late.
A recent Granite State Poll by the University of New Hampshire showed Trump and DeSantis in a statistical dead heat in New Hampshire, more than doubling the DeSantis support since October.
But as the head of the Ready for Ron Committee, former Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins previously told The Epoch Times that it’s doubtful that DeSantis would run against Trump if Trump actually seeks the nomination.
The committee’s goal isn’t to supplant Trump, but to make sure there is a candidate that can carry on Trump’s legacy if Trump declines to run, is unable to run, or runs into trouble, Rollins said.
“Under President Donald Trump’s leadership, the United States enjoyed record unemployment, economic stability, safety, and global respect. Many are yearning for a return to these policies and the prosperity good leadership can bring,” Ready for Ron legal counsel and spokeswoman Lilian Rodríguez-Baz told The Epoch Times via video.
“The era of President Trump was wonderful, but now, since he isn’t currently running, we must get ready for a new leader, we must be Ready for Ron,” Rodríguez-Baz added.
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