Jane Castor’s coronavirus response approval rating tops among Florida mayors

Castor's approval rating is the highest in the state.

A latest poll shows Tampa Mayor Jane Castor performing the best in Florida in public opinion of her and others’ responses to the coronavirus crisis.

A University of North Florida and Public Opinion Research Lab poll out Monday put Castor at an overall 78% approval rating, with 56% of respondents strongly approving of her COVID-19 response and 22% somewhat approving.

Only 3% strongly disapprove and 5% somewhat disapprove.

That’s higher than any other Mayor of a major city in the state of Florida, including Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.

It’s also higher than all other state and federal elected officials included in the poll.

Sen. Rick Scott had the lowest approval rating at 37%. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried was actually slightly lower at 36%, but most respondents indicated they weren’t sure about her performance, rending the results less scientific.

Sen. Marco Rubio came in with just 38% approval while President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had just 45% and 48% support, respectively.

Governor Ron DeSantis, who only last week announced a statewide stay-at-home order that many had been clamoring for, claimed just over half support at 51%.

Only Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s most forward facing public health officials responding to the crisis, performed better than Castor with an overall approval rating of 85%

Castor’s approval is not only an indication of her preemptive response to the global pandemic — she forced Hillsborough County’s hand in issuing a countywide order by issuing her own amid reluctance from other county officials — it’s also an indication of the national spotlight she’s claimed over several creative ways to engage the public on safety measures.

Castor has so far appeared on CNN and done interviews on NPR’s Morning Edition and with the online publication Slate. Monday she’ll appear on Good Morning America.

Slate highlighted the Democrat’s response to the virus in a state run by Republicans in her Slate interview, though she’s avoided criticizing DeSantis in all of her media appearances.

Instead she’s highlighted her administration’s use of social media including producing a series of Tik Tok video’s demonstrating the importance of social distance and proper hand washing.

The administration has also used Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to push social distancing awareness and support in an effort to flatten the curve in a city that’s one of the hardest hit in the state.

Monday evening, Tampa Bay area radio stations will also begin an evening dance party brokered by Castor’s administration in which all of the station’s will play the same song at the same time each evening in an attempt to promote community support and camaraderie. Listeners are encourage to go outside for the song to sing, dance and wave to neighbors, as they social distance.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • Janie Hostetler

    April 6, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Mayor Castor has transcended party lines to do what is best for all of her people. Her Chief of Police experience has benefitted all of us. A good Chief knows the city inside and out, not micromanaging, but using the metrics of incident command. I was most disappointed in the governor’s reversal of church gatherings. As high risk seniors, who will protect us in the grocery store, the drug store and the PO, from one of the congregants, who hasn’t shown symptoms yet? Thank you, Mayor Castor.

  • no drama

    April 6, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Buckhorn was better than Castor
    She is better than Kriseman
    And she and Kriseman are better than Baker and Foster. Most agree Foster was a borderline racist.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704