by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Ron DeSantis maintains a big lead over Donald Trump among swing voters — at least on social media, according to one firm that monitors a core “focus group” of 40,000 political posters.
The findings come from an outfit called Impact Social, a firm hired by a pro-DeSantis group to crunch social-media data. The analysis doesn’t sugarcoat the results for the group that hired it; both DeSantis and Trump have net negative scores. But DeSantis, at -4, is doing way better among swing voters than Trump, with a -41 score, though this was measured before the DBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, an unprecedented event whose impact on perceptions of the former president has yet to be seen.
So what do those scores mean? In short, they reflect a metric used by Impact Social to measure the sentiments — positive and negative — of posts from those 40,000 accounts determined to belong to swing voters based on their presence on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other platforms. (The analysis sometimes refers to them as “floating” voters.) Glowing social-media posts contribute to a higher score for the candidate being measured, and vice versa. Quantifying the average tone in a sea of social-media posts might seem an unconventional way to gauge support, and it is. But the analysis has a vastly larger sample size than most traditional polls.
By this measure, at least, DeSantis appears to have the edge over Trump heading into a hypothetical 2024 presidential fight — perhaps a sign of ephemeral political passions, or perhaps the sign of a broader shift, among persuadable voters.“
In DeSantis’s favor are those who declare that he is a politician who holds the right instincts and has the record in office to prove it,” says a summary of the Impact Social findings measuring posts about Trump and DeSantis from July 13 through July 27.