The Republican party is increasingly divided, especially as newcomer Ron Desantis has taken center stage more consistently throughout the last year. But where does Desantis really stand when compared to Trump? Is his popularity real? Is he eating Trump’s popularity?
To understand the matchup better, we aggregated Google Trends data from Jan 1, 2022 to Aug 20, 2022. This data represents search popularity at the DMA(metro area) level aggregated over time.
Trump vs. Desantis over Time
Since the start of the year, search popularity for “Desantis 2024” has been steady or growing slightly. The ratio of search popularity for “Desantis 2024” vs. “Trump 2024” remained very steady throughout this year, until August 8th, the day Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was raided by the FBI.
The data is clear, the Trump raid was a MASSIVE boon for the search popularity of “Trump 2024.”
Aug 7, 2024 vs. Aug 10, 2024 – Trump Takes a Massive Lead
Above is the ratio of search popularity for “Desantis 2024” searches vs. “Trump 2024” searches for two dates (Aug 7th, the day before the Mar-a-Lago raid, and Aug 10th, two days after the raid).
It’s clear from this rapid change, that the raid resulted in an extremely large uptick in searches for “Trump 2024,” while “Desantis 2024” remained steady through this date range.
Where did the Biggest Swing Toward Trump Happen after the Mar-a-Lago Raid?
By looking at the moving average from Aug 7th to Aug 8th, and segmenting by state, we can see which states had the largest swing back toward “Trump 2024” in the aftermath of the Mar-a-Lago raid.
Will the Raid on Mar-a-Lago Backfire for the Dems?
It remains to be seen, of course, but the search data trends could be an early indicator that Trump’s 2024 popularity has significantly improved as a result of the raid. The question remains if this bump in popularity will be sustained. So far, it seems to be a fleeting boost for Trump.
Since the raid, the boost to Trump is rapidly trending back toward the baseline, falling off massively in the two weeks following the raid: