Two charts explain key DeSantis strategy against Trump
In the March edition of Truth On-Demand™, Wick's monthly omnibus survey of registered voters, we highlight data that tracks support for DeSantis' decision to use his office to question vaccine safety and efficacy and is impaneling a grand jury to review the CDC and investigate “crimes and wrongdoing committed against Floridians related to the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Recently, Trump has ramped up the efforts to convince voters that Florida, under DeSantis, was more of a follower than a leader in anti-lockdown policies. But this isn’t the only Covid-19 policy battle line being drawn. DeSantis is one of only a few nationally recognized Republicans, along with the likes of Rand Paul and Ron Johnson, who has chosen to use his office to question vaccine safety and efficacy and is impaneling a grand jury to review the CDC and investigate “crimes and wrongdoing committed against Floridians related to the COVID-19 vaccine.”
The fact that Florida was neither the leader nor the most consistent anti-lockdown state will probably be seen by primary voters as an asterisk on an anti-lockdown position that all Republican candidates will agree on. But investigating the Covid-19 vaccines is a real battleline where DeSantis is going to be on the opposite side of Trump who stands behind Operation Warp Speed. And since you rarely get the opportunity to see primary opponents on the opposite side of such a big issue, we decided to dive deeper into the phenomena.
The fact that over 70% of voters are vaccinated could make these actions seem like a risky move for DeSantis. On the surface level, the most logical explanation is that DeSantis saw this as the only opportunity he will ever have to force Trump to align with the CDC, the FDA, Fauci, and the legacy media. This might be a good enough reason because of the unpopularity of those institutions and figures among Republican primary voters. But our team wanted to see if polling data could illuminate other reasons for this strategy. We added some questions to our own monthly Truth On-Demand™ Omnibus Survey to help find the answer.
Based on the polling results shown in these charts, we believe some light has been shed on what might be behind DeSantis’ strategy on this issue.
Republicans (+50) and Independents (+5) are more likely to support than oppose this action. DeSantis is probably aware that this is a safe move for the primary while also not being a big liability if he makes it to the general election. Even voters who are vaccinated, but not boosted (+15) are more likely to support than oppose this action.
Also, as shown in the second chart, the 33% of registered voters who answered “people I know of have experienced concerning side effects after being vaccinated” seems to be a key factor driving support for DeSantis’ actions on the subject. This is a number that has been on the rise and, as a corollary, DeSantis might be confident that support will increase over time.
Trump’s strategy to brand DeSantis as more of a self-promoter than a leader might be very effective in the long run. But the polling suggests that there might be more risk than reward in using Covid-19 policies as a vehicle to make this point. In April’s Truth On-Demand Omnibus, Wick will continue to explore this further and gather more data and try to find the ROI ceiling of Trump’s messaging against DeSantis on this issue.
March Omnibus Results
March 6-9, 2023
Biden vs. Trump
Biden vs. DeSantis