I'm actually surprised Bakugou didn't win by a larger margin this time. He had more votes last time around where there were less total votes; I wonder where those votes went (probably Deku?)
Bakugou 14937 votes -> 13,869 (-1068)
Deku 8115 votes -> 10,462 (+2347)
Shouto 6524 votes -> 7,999 (+1475)
I’m not really surprised. Deku got a ton of very cool content since the last poll -> he had a solo arc with all the very popular Dark!Deku art, 2 hype solo villain fights, 3 new quirks, plus he got the most focus in the movie too. Some fans who want “BAMF” characters, probably started to shift towards him.
Bakugou on the other hand didn’t get much content (the last poll closed after Ch 285 - he had his gag hero name reveal, a bit of gag content in the hospital and his apology scene).
I’m pleasantly surprised though that Shouto also got a bump - albeit smaller than Deku - I guess it’s mostly the movie, considering most of his manga content was right after the 6th poll closed and he didn’t get much after-war spotlight either.
I know the popularity is not linked to content directly - otherwise Iida and Kirishima wouldn’t hang in there so stable, but also, if their faves are consistently sidelined, some fans will disengage and turn to other content.
2020 was a very hype year for Bakugou fans between Heroes Rising and all the character development he got. 2021 had much less compared to that.