A poll commissioned by Democratic Sen. Annette Taddeo finds that Floridians’ biggest concern is not jobs or economic recovery, but keeping socialism out of Florida, spotlighting a key Democratic elections challenge, pollsters say.
“Democrats also have a clear weakness with Floridians responding that their top issue is keeping socialism out of Florida. In fact, keeping socialism out of Florida rises above jobs and economic recovery as this has become a top narrative for Republicans,” reads a polling memo from SEA Polling & Strategic Design.
The memo was shared Thursday morning by Taddeo’s team, illuminating advantages and disadvantages Florida Democrats face in building a coalition of Hispanic voters, particularly non-Cuban American Hispanic voters, and appealing to independent voters. The polling memo warns that 34% of Florida’s independent voters have become susceptible to Republican messaging that Democrats invite socialism, and Hispanic Democrats, “are vulnerable to the emotional narrative that comes with false socialism attacks.”
“Democrats must go aggressively on offense with strong messages that reverses the trend among NPAs and weakens it among soft Republicans, and the best pushback is through authentic validators and their stories,” the memo adds.
The memo goes on to suggest that Taddeo, with her life experiences and her ownership of a small business, may be the ideal messenger for Democrats in defending against the socialist charges.
Taddeo responded in a written statement that the Republican charges of socialism among Democrats are ironic. She called DeSantis’ ban on businesses using vaccine passports “a page from the communist playbook.”
“Our recent polling shows some clear opportunities we have as Democrats and some weaknesses we must tackle. Governor DeSantis is on the wrong side of critical issues, especially business mandates on public health measures and his continued efforts to make it harder to vote by mail,” Taddeo said. “The polling also shows the impact of the Republican playbook to falsely attack Democrats on socialism. These are disgusting and insulting lies and quite ironic since it’s Republicans like Ron DeSantis who just took a page from the communist playbook by exerting control of business operations.
“As a business owner, it’s deeply troubling to see how government is dictating to businesses how to operate — and worse, making it harder for voters to cast ballots with new layers of government control,” she added.
Among the advantages found in the SEA live poll of about 900 Florida registered voters, conducted April 15-20:
— President Joe Biden has a 51-45 favorable/unfavorable rating among Florida voters, and Gov. Ron DeSantis a 53-38 rating, while former President Donald Trump has a 46-52 rating.
— However, Biden polls better among non-Cuban American Hispanics and independent voters, while both DeSantis and Trump are underwater with both groups.