Poll: 62% support mask mandates in Florida schools
Image via AP.

masks ap photo
Gov. Ron DeSantis is strongly opposing mask requirements, but voters appear to be turning away from him.

More than six in 10 Florida voters believe schools should require all children to wear masks when classes begin later this month, according to a recent survey from St. Pete Polls.

The survey, commissioned by Florida Politics, found that 62% of likely voters support such a mask order.

The poll follows an executive order Gov. Ron DeSantis issued Friday banning school mask requirements. Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Florida rose to an all-time high of 11,515 patients in one day, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ahead of DeSantis’ school mask order, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics issued an unambiguous argument for face coverings and distancing, citing the fact that vaccines aren’t yet available for children younger than 12. The school year begins as soon as next week in some districts.

Among Democrats, 84% support mask mandates, while 66% of independents also support such a requirement. However, 39% of Republicans also support mask mandates, a significant share for what has become a political issue.

The poll marks a significant change from a year ago, when polls showed 79% of registered voters supported statewide mask orders. Unlike the current situation, vaccines weren’t widely available in July 2020, but Florida was similarly experiencing a record-breaking wave of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

The St. Pete Polls survey reached 3,952 respondents over the phone, a high sample that led to only a 1.6% margin of error.

Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight include St. Pete Polls in their polling aggregations.

As he has done since ending Florida’s COVID-19 lockdown early in the pandemic, DeSantis on Tuesday criticized calls to shut down schools and businesses.

“These interventions have failed time and time again throughout this pandemic — not just in the United States, but abroad — they have not stopped the spread,” DeSantis said. “Particularly with delta, which is even more transmissible, if it didn’t stop it before, it definitely ain’t gonna stop it now.”

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, DeSantis suggested the CDC would want to mask students “indefinitely,” adding that schools were “perfect” for mask-optional policies. Last month, DeSantis also criticized masks as “muzzles” on children.

“I’ve got a 3-year-old son, and you’ve got people like (AnthonyFauci saying ‘he should be muzzled and you should be throwing masks on these 3-year-old kids.’ It’s totally unacceptable. It’s certainly unacceptable to have any level of government imposing that on parents and on kids.”

The survey results also show DeSantis’ job approval underwater 5 points and losing in a head-to-head against U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a Democrat who hopes to retake the Governor’s Mansion, a significant shift in that race.

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.


14 comments

  • Andrew Finn

    August 3, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    It doesn’t matter whether the number is 62% or 100% of the people that are in favor of a mask mandate in the schools in Florida. Our Royal Majesty the Emperor DeSantis does not care about the people he is supposed to work for. All he cares about is pushing his own misguided and moronic beliefs on his “subjects” (aka the people of Florida) and getting himself re-elected.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 4, 2021 at 4:25 am

    Stfu Duffus Desantis! You are a total failure. The lives lost because of your insane bs are the results of your bs! Stay away from our children! Get out Desantis!

    • kim

      August 9, 2021 at 1:41 pm

      yeah!!! we needed the meth head blm guy!!

    • James

      August 11, 2021 at 12:42 am

      “Stay away from our children “ he’s literally granting MORE freedom for the family to make their own decision for their children my friend, I think you have it misunderstood. If you want your kids to wear a mask in class, then they still can.

  • Edward Lyle

    August 4, 2021 at 8:03 am

    Baloney

    The only earnest polls are the poles in stripclubs.

  • jccalhoun

    August 4, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Just take a look at this reporter’s background…would you believe he is capable of a balanced view? This site is nothing but a bought and paid for democratic party vehicle.

    • Louise Machinist

      August 4, 2021 at 11:26 pm

      But it’s true, nonetheless.

      • Charles Weaver

        August 6, 2021 at 10:56 am

        What’s ‘true’ here? The absurd numbers?

  • Charles Weaver

    August 6, 2021 at 11:27 am

    Over 80% of your poll was taken in dimwitocrat’ strongholds. Nice try little fella’. I reckon the hyper partisan, sheep types that actually receive email updates from an OBVIOUS dnc partisan blog site wouldn’t even remotely have the wherewithal to actually dig into the insane, metro sampling size of this FAKE NEWS poll.

    This is like a idiot libs, that were told to HATE Trump, their bank accounts and employment status be damned, and type in the phrase, ‘Trump is a racist’ into their obligatory google search box and expecting a solid, well researched, non-partisan take on whatever issue that had them triggered.

  • Physics grad U of H

    August 11, 2021 at 12:52 am

    You guys polled 3900 Floridians. It’s a stretch to conclude from that study that 6/10 Floridians support endless forced mask mandates on children. As a physicist I’d be real curious what algorithm you’re using to claim less than 2% uncertainty and a 95% “confidence level” (we don’t use this term in real science, it just simply only applies to “ soft sciences”)

  • Elena Boughey

    August 17, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    You are taking away their ability to naturally fight off all viruses. This is going to be an avalanche of sickness in children including new viruses they can’t fight and the lack of immunity due to wearing masks.

    Add to that the shocking mask hygiene issues as well as them nullifying the entire thing by wearing them under the nose and not all all in the cafeteria.

    What a major screw up all around. If the fake security it gives makes you feel safe by all means wear them but don’t force others to participate in that false safety because this can only be harmful for children….

Comments are closed.


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