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Trio of Florida’s top elected Republicans suffer negative approval ratings

Of the three Republicans, Rick Scott fares the worst.

A trio of Florida’s top-level elected officials all have job approval ratings underwater, according to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday.

The survey shows both Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio with net approval ratings at -1 percentage point. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott trails with a 15-point negative gap between those with favorable views and those with unfavorable views.

DeSantis’ split is 38%-39%, Rubio’s is 37%-38% while Scott’s is 31% to 46%.

That poll, which is Monmouth University Polling Institute‘s first look at DeSantis since he succeeded Scott in the Governor’s Mansion, is yet another poll showing Floridians with an effective split opinion on his approval rating.

A survey by Florida Atlantic University, also released Tuesday, similarly showed the Governor with an even approval rating. In that report, his support matched his opposition at 43%. A report by NBC News/Marist Poll a week ago also showed the Governor with a net 0% approval rating with both marks tied at 44%.

However, a St. Pete Polls survey last month showed DeSantis with broad support in the Sunshine State. In that poll, 58% of registered voters had a favorable view of the Governor while 30% disapproved.

Among Republicans, the Monmouth poll shows DeSantis with a 77% approval rating while 8% disapprove. Among independents, the Governor lags with 45% disapproval compared to 29% approval. And with Democrats, his split is 8%-64%

Rubio earns similar marks, with a 70%-6% split among Republicans, 30%-41% among independents and 11%-66% among Democrats. But Scott’s lagging numbers come mostly from a lack of support among Republicans, earning only a 57%-20% split in the party. The split was 30%-49% among independents and 8%-69% among Democrats.

The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the Governor’s time in office. In late 2019, polls showed DeSantis as one of the most popular governors in the country.

But since officials first confirmed the pandemic in the Sunshine State in March, his approval has slid. Polls have repeatedly shown DeSantis struggling in pandemic-related questions.

However, Monmouth shows 48% of voters supporting the Governor’s pandemic response to 47% who oppose it.

The survey, conducted Sept. 10-13, queried a random sample of 428 registered voters in Florida. That included 166 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephones, and 262 contacted by a live interviewer on cell phone lines in English and Spanish.

The poll also showed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with a narrow lead over President Donald Trump in the Sunshine State. FAU’s poll showed similar marks for the upcoming Election.

Neither DeSantis, Rubio or Scott face reelection in November.

Written By

Renzo Downey covers the Florida Legislature 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 renzo@floridapolitics.com and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

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