Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is now more popular among those who voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election than Trump, according to a new survey released Tuesday.
The poll from WPA Intelligence — a conservative firm that has been used by top Republican U.S. Senators and top conservative organizations like the Family Research Council — surveyed 1,160 registered voters nationwide and has a margin of error of +/-2.9% at the 95% confidence level.
The survey was conducted as part of the firm’s autopsy of the 2022 midterm elections to figure out why Republicans under-performed.
The poll found that Trump is still generally liked among with Republicans with with 70% viewing him favorably, however, the survey noted that those numbers are down significantly from where they were in the past and that Republican voters no longer view him “as the head of the party.”
The FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago “energized Democrats more than Republicans with 35% of the Democrats saying the raid was ‘very important’ in influencing their vote compared to 22% of the latter,” the survey found. “Republican pundits and candidates may have inadvertently helped Democrats by spending much of the month of August addressing the raid.”
Notable findings from the survey included:
- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ net favorability ratings surpass Trump among Republicans (+66 vs. +44), Fox News viewers (+58 vs. +27), and Trump’s own 2020 voters (+69 vs. +54).
- DeSantis is also well liked by a broad coalition of Republicans with a 68%/0% favorable/unfavorable rating among self-described “Trump Republicans”; 71%/9% among “Traditional Republicans”; and 82%/5% among “Reagan Republicans.”
- DeSantis has more crossover appeal than both Trump and Biden with a net -3 favorability rating among Independent voters compared to -27 for Biden and -39 for Trump.
- Among split-ticket voters, DeSantis’ net favorability rating is +7, Biden’s is -21, and Trump’s is -36.
- Sixty-four percent of all voters — including 60% of Republicans, 63% of Independents, and 65% of split-ticket voters — say Donald Trump was a major reason for the Republican Party’s poor performance in the midterm elections.
- Donald Trump is viewed unfavorably by almost one in three (29%) voters who backed Republicans in the midterms, including 33% of “Reagan Republicans,” 34% of “Traditional Republicans,” 34% of Fox News viewers, and even one in five (21%) voters who backed him in 2020.
- Additionally, 66% of Independents view Trump unfavorably, including 52% who view him “very unfavorably.”
- A plurality of Republicans (40%) — including 50% of self-described “Traditional Republicans” and “Reagan Republicans” — say Donald Trump should no longer be the leader and face of the Republican Party while 37% say he should be. Among Fox News viewers, 45% say Trump should no longer be the leader and face of the GOP while 35% say he should be.
“President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ woke agenda were, and remain, unpopular, but a series of tactical missteps by GOP campaigns, candidate quality issues, concerns over abortion in key races, and a focus on the past rather than the future of the Republican Party contributed to the GOP’s disappointing performance in the midterms,” said Amanda Iovino, Principal at WPA. “Americans are generally more aligned with Republicans’ policy priorities, but controversies surrounding President Trump and missed messaging opportunities turned off many GOP voters, Independents, and split-ticket voters who may have otherwise backed Republicans.”