Gov. DeSantis COVID-19 approval rating falls as schools reopen
Image via Colin Hackley.

Support fell 4 percentage points to 42%, the Governor's low point.

Support for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ pandemic response has returned to its lowest level since the pandemic began as he faces continued criticism over his decision to reopen classrooms.

That’s according to the latest CNBC and Change Research battleground state poll, which saw the Governor’s approval rating on the issue fall 4 percentage points to 42% in the last two weeks, its lowest mark since the first time pollsters posed the question.

The survey took results from likely voters from Aug. 7 to 9, the final weekend before classes started for several public school districts. Even though DeSantis has tried to offer a choice for parents, the Department of Education’s plan to reopen schools is facing public and legal scrutiny, and battle lines have been drawn in Hillsborough County.

Since the last CNBC and Change Research survey, the state also experienced four straight days of record-breaking daily death tolls.

In their prior survey from late July, the pollsters showed a favorable trend for DeSantis’ support, but it was still below his disapproval rating on the issue. On the final day of sampling, state health officials recorded the most significant number of new diagnoses in a single day.

The new poll, released Wednesday, is the second time DeSantis has scored just 42% support. The first time was in mid-April.

An early April poll by CNBC and Change Research implies a lower approval rating but posed the question differently. Then, 69% of Florida voters said DeSantis wasn’t doing enough on the pandemic while another 4% said the Governor was too aggressive in his response. For 23% of voters, his response was just right.

The semimonthly poll focuses on six “States of Play” — Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — ahead of the presidential election. Of other battleground state governors, DeSantis performed better than only Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who netted 41% support in the latest poll, an improvement of 8 percentage points.

Across all six battlegrounds states, 50% of likely voters found opening schools unsafe, while only 36% found it safe.

The pollsters also found President Donald Trump losing ground in Florida to former Vice President Joe Biden. Both nationally and in Florida, Biden leads Trump 50% to 44%.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • S.B. Anthony

    August 12, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Get ready for Covid numbers to skyrocket. Schools will open and close, open and close, as the disease spreads.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 12, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    As a former first grade teacher I cannot imagine the safety measures needed to keep our children safe! Doesn’t mean it can’t be done! But it is not worth the community spread of the trumpvirus!

  • The Gipper

    August 13, 2020 at 8:51 am

    The media has been driving the over the top fear for 5 months. It’s sells. This pandemic has become a political tool to attack our President and good governor.

    A review of the origin of the virus is that COVID-19 came from Wuhan China and our numbers are high because many tests are being done in the U.S. and FL & those who recover are 99%. Where are these numbers?

    Where are the recovery numbers?

    From the beginning DeSantis immediately began to protect the most vulnerable in FL those in nursing homes and assisted living unlike Gov. Cuomo who sent those sick with the virus into nursing homes in NY and essentially killed almost 7,000 vulnerable elderly.

    Can you imagine the mindset of those who have been psychologically manipulated by the constant barrage of impending doom were they to actually see the facts with objective reporting on this pandemic?

    DeSantis is going the right thing to open schools, sanity and common sense need to prevail not fear and doom and gloom. Kids are minimally susceptible and need to return to normalcy and continue their education.

    Again, if parents want to HOME SCHOOL their children instead they have that option in FL.

    FL Politics looses credibility with their constant attack on people (usually Republicans) who lead and do not comply with their fear mongering narrative. Try objective reporting for a change.

    • Steve

      August 13, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      Once we start to rely on the CDC and the experts instead of armchair coaches maybe things will change. Until then we continue to die 9,047 and counting!

  • James R. Miles

    August 13, 2020 at 9:15 am

    Trump is an idiot who helped create this crisis by doing little if anything and DeSatan is a Trump butt kisser who doesn’t do anything without permission from Trump. America can be so proud to have a complete idiot in charge who is responsible for murdering thousands of Americans and hopefully goes to Jail when this nightmare is over! DeSatan should be there with him!

Comments are closed.


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