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Did Martha’s Vineyard Make Ron DeSantis the 2024 GOP Favorite?

Ron DeSantis
Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2021 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.

Ron DeSantis now seems like a player for 2024: To the pearl-clutching leftists, providing air-conditioned charter flights to 50 illegal immigrants who voluntarily agreed to go to one of the most sought-after vacation spots in the Northeast was a human rights abuse. It didn’t resonate with some in the public. 

But the attacks are further refining Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for a potential national campaign. 

Bolstering From Opposition

A liberal New York Times columnist is suggesting DeSantis is worse than Donald Trump, real fighting words at the Times and another indicator that the left likely fears DeSantis as an opponent. Moreover, Trump (if we believe anonymous sources talking to Rolling Stone) is angry that DeSantis is upstaging him. At the same time, in a hypothetical Florida Republican primary, DeSantis leads Trump by eight points. 

The Polls Continue to Climb for Ron DeSantis

Add to that, DeSantis is gaining ground in recent social media data when compared to former President Donald Trump—particularly among right-leaning swing voters.

There was a point in time when polling from New Hampshire showed Ron DeSantis and Trump in a statistical dead heat. However, after the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago, Trump surged ahead of all other GOP opponents, including DeSantis, in every poll. On social media, where Trump saw a “surge in support for the former president as a victim of a political raid,” according to Impact Social, a social media data firm.

Impact Social was hired by the pro-DeSantis PAC, “Ready for Ron,” which is trying to raise money to draft DeSantis to run for president in 2024. A data crunch of the “focus group” of 40,000 social media swing voters on Twitter, Instagram, LinkeIn and other platforms, contends the FBI raid bump for Trump “reversed by a sense of shock and incredulity as to why he would hold sensitive documents at home.”

Trump was -41 in July, before the raid, but shot up to -29 after the raid, according to Impact Social. But that has fallen again to the July level of -41, with a focus on classified documents. By contrast, DeSantis was -16 in July and is now at +2. Notably, out of the focus group, there were 178,000 posts on Trump and just 14,000 on DeSantis, so there is more room for negativity on Trump. 

The Impact Social data measures social media sentiments from Aug. 24 to Sept. 7. Though the PAC (not associated with the Florida governor or his 2022 re-election campaign) is funding the research, the reporting is not entirely positive for DeSantis.

DeSantis Gains Momentum

“General support for DeSantis, or calls for him to replace Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, have remained solidly the main two topics of conversation,” the report says. “That said, there remains a substantial proportion of swing voters who oppose the Governor and are not shy in voicing their reasons why. They see DeSantis as having authoritarian, sometimes ‘fascist’ tendencies which they fear. They also continue to attack his actions in office which they suggest is dividing the state of Florida and will, should he get into the White House, further divide America.”

Ron DeSantis would likely be a polarizing figure. But the fact is, if Republicans nominated and elected John Kasich as president, a chorus of MSNBC talking heads would be shouting “Hitler” daily. 

No one is going to change the tone in Washington. The rise of Trump resulted largely because Republicans had long allowed themselves to be steamrolled by Democrats. 

DeSantis seems to appeal to right-leaning veoters because he’s willing to fight. He would have to close the deal that he can be every bit the fighter that Trump is, but that he can be more successful, minus the drama and investigations.

It’s easy to imagine a primary debate with Trump and DeSantis on the stage, maybe a couple of others for a Republican presidential primary debate sometime in late 2023. 

DeSantis would likely be wise to wait for Trump to strike first. When Trump does, DeSantis casts himself as a man of action. Trump talked about a wall—but waited until 2019 to start to build it. 

By contrast, Ron DeSantis flew illegal immigrants to a liberal bastion. 

During COVID-19, when Trump was following the orders of Dr. Anthony Fauci, DeSantis kept his state open. 

And—maybe the one to be careful with—when it came time to go before the voters a second time, DeSantis won a second term—and with big numbers. 

Fred Lucas is the manager of the Investigative Reporting Project for The Daily Signal and author of the newly released “The Myth of Voter Suppression: The Left’s Assault on Clean Elections.” Nothing written here is to be construed as representing any other person or entity.

Written By

Fred Lucas is chief national affairs correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of "The Right Side of History" podcast. Lucas is also the author of "Abuse of Power: Inside The Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump."



  1. GhostTomahawk

    September 21, 2022 at 8:24 pm

    I don’t have a problem with either Trump or DeSantis. I DO want American leadership to get away from geriatrics. For far too long old boomers have been running the show.

  2. Yrral

    September 21, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    Fred Lucas Google Ginni Thomas Virginia Voter Suppression

  3. xheavy

    September 21, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    I am finished with Elections. I have faithfully voted for a lifetime. After the sham of the 2020 failed elections around the USA in the Blue Districts I realized the system as our Founders intended is fucked. So faith in it is gone.

    In my area no problem at all. You are required to be a citizen, have id and so on. Mail in ballots are excruciating hard to get for a reason.

    Marthas Vineyard’s behavior when faced with the dirty illegals was virtue signalling on the Democrat party’s part. Ship the unwashed straight off the island. Because its out of season and someone somewhere on that island will have to spend actual dollars feeding them. (There were more than 50 jobs availible when they arrived.)

    The bigger failure belongs to Biden as President. One of the things with the Executive Office is to enforce existing laws. There is a path to legal citizenship. Just takes years and cost alot. But its legal and you are more than welcome. Its what we are.

    The illegals poured across the border on the Rio’s 1600 mile length for decades. One small town called Eagle Pass Texas was my haven in Trucking decades ago. Some are mexican there. Rest are hard working blue collar and commerce and food and so on was wonderful with miles of rolling grasslands and mesas all around the little place.

    The invasion of Illegals turned it into a shithole where businesses must close to stop the stealing, breaking ins and so on. Some of which served good food. So Eagle Pass is dead to me now. 375000 illegals showed up there specifically in the last 12 months.

    Marthas Vineyard mews, whines and cries victim when just 50 showed up. Fine. We transport 500,000 straight there. Dump all of them there. Their problem.

    And machine gun the rest trying to get across the river with a formal field army deployed on it’s 1600 mile border. Repeat the machine gunning until the illegals crossings stop entirely for one year.

    It will stop.

    Then hunt the illegal aliens around the USA and ship them to Peru where they can mine lithium for the green world. Brave new future.

    If they wanted in to America? Legally? Great, awesome. Heres a pen, food and paperwork. Get started on it. It will be a while. We can use a dishwasher, dogwalker or a au pair.

  4. MAGA idiots

    September 22, 2022 at 10:57 am

    xheavy, Great choice to not vote…it seems like some are too dumb to vote. Thanks.

    Advocating murder of innocent people is a reflection of your own moral character.

  5. Doug

    September 24, 2022 at 11:13 pm

    xheavy you forgot to mention taking away the torch from the Statue of Liberty and replacing it with an M16.

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