Nearly 53% of Floridians say they approve of Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ job performance amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
A new St. Pete Polls survey puts the Governor at nearly a +15 approval rating, with 38% disapproving of his performance. The remaining 9% were unsure.
But the Governor’s net approval rating has slipped when compared to pre-coronavirus polling.
DeSantis has faced criticism — including from several Democrats — regarding his administration’s handling of the crisis. He was slow to issue a statewide stay-at-home order relative to other states similarly impacted by the virus, leaving many local governments to act on their own.
The state’s online unemployment application system also collapsed. While DeSantis has promised attention to the issue, hundreds of thousands of claims reportedly remain in limbo.
A FiveThirtyEight analysis of the approval ratings of Governors across the country showed those ratings consistently going up by double digits. The only exception? DeSantis, whose approval rating actually dropped by 7 percentage points.
DeSantis maintains a net approval of nearly +60 among Republicans. But he’s underwater with Democrats, at nearly -20. Independents give him a +13 margin.
Still, the Governor remains more popular here than President Donald Trump, who took Florida in 2016 and now calls the state his primary residence.
St. Pete Polls puts Trump’s approval rating at 49%, with 48% disapproving.
And on Trump’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak specifically, Trump broke even, with 48% of voters saying they approved of his handling and 48% saying they disapproved.
While Trump did act early on partially banning travel from China — where the virus originated — he hesitated for weeks before eventually issuing widespread social distancing guidelines, which many states have now adopted. Those measures appear to have slowed the virus’s spread.
Separate results from the newest St. Pete Polls survey showed Trump in a statistical dead heat with presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The St. Pete Polls survey sampled 5,659 registered voters from April 16 to 17. It has a margin of error of 1.3 percentage points.