Gov. Ron DeSantis has been criticized for not promoting vaccines to the degree some would like, but a new poll shows vaccinated voters like him more than the unvaxxed do.
A Yahoo! and YouGov survey of Republican-identifying voters conducted earlier this month shows that in a field of potential GOP presidential candidates in 2024, the Florida Governor did better with voters who got COVID-19 vaccines than with those who refused.
When respondents were asked who they preferred in a hypothetical Republican field, 21% of those who responded said they liked DeSantis, a number good for second place in the survey behind former President Donald Trump.
But vaccination status showed a split.
Of voters who said they had been inoculated against COVID-19, 23% preferred DeSantis. But those voters who had not gotten the shot were less likely to back DeSantis, with only 19% of the unvaxxed saying they backed the Governor for President.
Those splits are even more noticeable when DeSantis is compared to Trump.
If only vaccinated voters were casting ballots in the Republican Primary, DeSantis would be within 15 points of the former President, who was the choice of only 38% of the unvaccinated, compared to 23% for DeSantis.
But if only unvaccinated people voted in the Primary, Trump’s advantage doubles to a 49% to 19% lead over DeSantis.
The poll results are especially ironic given the amount of political capital DeSantis invests in countering pro-vaccination efforts from media and the federal government.
On Thursday, DeSantis signed a so-called “freedom agenda” — a quartet of bills passed this week during the Special Session restricting COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
That bill signing event was located in Brandon, a location chosen as a nod to the “Let’s Go Brandon” chants popular on the right in coded critique of the current President.
Yet despite these and many similar attempts to court the unvaccinated as a voting bloc, it appears DeSantis has done a better job convincing vaccinated Republicans that he should be President.