The latest surge of COVID-19 might be catching up with Gov. Ron DeSantis.
A new poll from St. Pete Polls finds the Governor’s approval rating has sagged considerably, with more Floridians now saying they do not approve of the job DeSantis is doing than those who say they approve.
The poll, which was conducted Monday and Tuesday among 3,952 likely Florida voters through an automated phone polling system, also found DeSantis falling behind one Democratic rival for the 2022 gubernatorial election, trailing Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist. DeSantis has a slight lead on Democratic Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in the poll.
The poll also shows Floridians are not in agreement with DeSantis when it comes to his opposition to mask mandates for school children.
DeSantis drew just 44% of Florida voters saying they approve of the job he is doing, while 49% said they do not approve of his job performance. The rest were unsure.
That is a huge swing from the job approval numbers DeSantis received in a Florida Chamber of Commerce poll in May. That survey gave him a 55% approval for his job performance, with 40% not approving.
In the St. Pete Polls survey, DeSantis nearly broke even among partisan voters, with Republicans not quite overcoming the Democrats’ opinions.
For Democrats, 74% said they do not approve of his job performance and 19% said they do. For Republicans, 71% said they approve, while 22% said they do not.
Independent voters broke against him, with 39% saying they approve of his job performance, and 51% saying they do not approve.
DeSantis received positive marks from White, non-Hispanic voters, with 51% approving and 43% not approving. But he was underwater among Hispanic voters, among Asian or Pacific Islander voters, and especially among Black voters.
His job performance drew negative results among both men, a 44% to 49% split; and women, with a 44% to 48% split.
He also is not doing well within any age category except voters age 70 or older. The youngest set, those ages 18-29, posted 39% approval and 52% disapproval. The next youngest, those age 30-49, were not far off, with 40% approving and 51% disapproving. Those over 70 showed 49% approval, still not a majority, but more than the 43% who said no, they do not approve.
DeSantis still is viewed favorably in North Florida markets from Pensacola to Jacksonville, and is holding his own in Tampa and Fort Myers. Panama City voters gave him 71% approval against 20% disapproval. Tampa barely broke his way, with 48% saying they approve and 46% saying they don’t.
But the Governor is underwater in Orlando, Gainesville, West Palm Beach and Miami. In Orlando, 44% said they approve of his job performance, while 48% said they do not. In Miami, just 31% of voters said they approve, while 61% said they do not.
The St. Pete Polls survey also gives President Joe Biden a slight positive nod, with Florida voters favoring him at 49%, as 46% gave the President poor marks.
The survey’s unusually large sample size gives it a margin of error of 1.6%, meaning the key findings are falling outside the margin.