Former President Donald Trump is facing an upcoming series of court appearances this autumn and winter, a potential stumbling block on his path to securing the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. An analysis of early Republican primary and caucus states has illuminated a scenario in which Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida could emerge as a beneficiary should Trump's prospects dim. The analysis, conducted by the pro-DeSantis group Ready to Win, takes a unique approach by delving into "anti-polling" methods, including the examination of online and social media conversations and the sentiments of independent voters. This unconventional strategy has uncovered a notable yearning among voters for an alternative to Trump, particularly among swing voters. DeSantis consistently outperforms President Joe Biden among these swing voters, opening a potential avenue for him to ascend in the political polls.
In South Carolina, the analysis of online discussions revealed that voters are notably drawn to DeSantis, surpassing the appeal of local favorites like Nikki Haley or Tim Scott. While there is a perceptible momentum favoring Trump, there also exists a sense of resignation among voters who believe DeSantis "cannot win." In Nevada, a similar analysis discovered that primary voters are not entirely satisfied with the idea of a Trump victory and are attracted to DeSantis' qualities. However, the analysis also underscores the challenge DeSantis faces in persuading primary voters that he can secure the GOP nomination, as the influence of the Donald Trump persona continues to hold sway.
Team DeSantis feels poised to surge if Trump trips https://t.co/w8F9pyl103
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 2, 2023
Dan Backer of Ready to Win reports that recent data from South Carolina shows Trump enjoying a 56% favorability rating compared to DeSantis' 46%. However, a significant portion of the negative sentiment toward DeSantis stems from the prevailing narrative that he cannot defeat Trump in a primary, while Trump's unfavorable ratings are more entrenched. Backer believes that DeSantis has a plausible opportunity to make significant headway in South Carolina, particularly given that other potential candidates like Tim Scott and Nikki Haley are not perceived as presidential contenders in their home state. In Nevada, despite challenges such as a lackluster ground game and unfavorable media coverage, DeSantis still has an opening to dispel the notion of "dubious polling" and gain traction in the run-up to Super Tuesday.
In summary, this analysis suggests that while Trump has maintained a substantial lead in the 2024 polls, there is a viable path for DeSantis to emerge as a formidable contender should Trump's support waver. The utilization of unconventional "anti-polling" methods, such as scrutinizing online discussions and gauging the sentiments of independent voters, reveals an underlying desire for an alternative to Trump. DeSantis appears to be well-suited to appeal to swing voters and challenge Trump's prevailing dominance. The critical question now revolves around whether DeSantis can overcome the narrative suggesting he cannot secure the GOP nomination and garner the necessary momentum to garner widespread party support.