Former President Donald Trump’s popularity — and, likely, his grip on the Republican Party — continues to decline, according to the results of a new survey from a major conservative polling firm.
According to the survey 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 — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is now more popular than the 45th president, the latter of whom declared his candidacy for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination last month.
The Daily Wire reports:
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 Republicans 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 Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate “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 noted. “Republican pundits and candidates may have inadvertently helped Democrats by spending much of the month of August addressing the raid.”
Here are some additional results from the survey, per the Daily Wire:
— “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.”
— “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.”
It should be noted that DeSantis has not declared his candidacy for president in 2024, but his name continues to circulate in GOP circles. In addition, some Democrats and left-leaning pundits have started to take a potential DeSantis presidential campaign seriously because of his record of transforming Florida from a purple battleground into a solid red state, even expanding Republican House seats and winning over Hispanics.
“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,” she added.