Different worlds: Democratic poll finds Florida voters polarized over freedom, health, Ron DeSantis

politicians arguing divide (Large)
Ron DeSantis tops Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried; Marco Rubio leads Val Demings.

Florida voters are at odds over beliefs regarding Gov. Ron DeSantis, freedom, COVID-19 and other divisive issues, a Democratic group found in a new poll.

The poll from Future Majority, a strategy and research center supporting Democrats and left-of-center causes, was done to provide insight for Democratic campaigns in Florida.

It found DeSantis holds leads in head-to-head matchups with Democratic rivals U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, by 49% to 45%, and Agriculture Commission Nikki Fried, 49% to 44%.

But there is almost no cross-party support or opposition for the Governor: 96% of Democratic voters polled strongly disapprove of DeSantis’ job performance while 93% of Republicans strongly approve.

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio leads Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Orlando in a U.S. Senate matchup, by 47% to 44% in the Future Majority.

About the only thing Democrats, Republicans and independent voters seem to agree upon is that 98% of all Florida voters said they do not feel represented by elected officials.

Future Majority conducted its poll through an on-line survey of 1,585 likely voters in Florida Aug. 14-17, with a margin of error of 3 percent for the broadest samples. The organization also polled Virginia voters, with similar questions.

Among the findings:

— 51% of Florida voters said they believe DeSantis “cares more about running for President in 2024,” while 46% said they believe he “cares more about the future of Florida.”

— 51% of voters said DeSantis “puts his political ambitions first,” while 45% said he “puts people first.”

— 49% say he “doesn’t really understand problems facing regular people,” while 47% say he is “in touch with problems facing regular people.”

— 64% of Floridians say they are falling behind the cost of living.

— 65% of Florida voters are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 through the delta variant, including 47% who are “very concerned.”

— 60% of Florida voters oppose withholding funding from schools that impose mask mandates, including 52% who “strongly oppose” withholding funding.

— 52% of voters support allowing employers to mandate vaccinations.

— 88% of Democrats agreed with the statement, “my freedom ends when it is endangering your health,” while only 21% of Republicans agreed with that sentiment.

— 63% of Republican voters in Florida think the virus coming through the U.S. border with Mexico is the most responsible for the recent rise in infections and deaths. The belief reaches 75% among respondents who said they are viewers of the OANN network.

— 99% of Republicans said they are comfortable flying the American flag outside their home, while only 57% of Americans said they felt that way.

— 48% of Florida voters agree more with the statement, “Donald Trump led a coup to try to overthrow the United States government and failed;” while 37% agree more with the statement, “Democrats and the far left have become hysterical. Donald Trump didn’t attempt a ‘coup. He got more votes and the election was stolen from him.”

— 86% of Florida Republicans think Trump got more votes nationally than President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

— Trump’s favorability rating in Florida is 91% among Republicans, 37% among independent voters, and 1% among Democrats.

— If offered a choice between freedom or justice, 53% of Floridians chose freedom, and 39% chose justice.

— 53% agree more with the statement “Freedom is more about having the ability to do the things in my life that I want to do,” compared to 41% who lean more towards, “Freedom is more about not having other people tell me what to do with my life.”

—69% of Florida voters say it is important to them that the Jan. 6 Commission gets to the bottom of what happened and let the chips fall where they may. That includes 59% who said it was “very important.”

— 94% said they are concerned about the amount of unaccountable dark money in politics.

— 94% said they are concerned about news outlets focusing on controversy instead of reporting the news and giving accurate information.

— 92% are concerned about gerrymandering of districts.

— 90% are concerned about  the power of a few “big tech” companies that control what people see, hear, and read.

— 80% are concerned about the spread of misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

— 71% are concerned about QAnon and right-wing extremists, while 62% are concerned about Antifa and left-wing extremists.

— 70% said they would support prohibiting the State Legislature from passing bills that would restrict someone’s ability to easily vote.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Tom

    August 24, 2021 at 7:36 am

    Perfect example of liberal cocoon that media places Democrats in. The media protection program disrupts liberal Dems to comprehend any contrary position. Dems have become one sided and closed off. All the buzz words repeated are right off the media’s mouth towards Ron.

    This poll is wonderful news for Governor. It shows disarray within the Dems. Fraud nor Crispy can unite. To extreme.

    The Republicans are over 95% United and will be 100% for Gov Ron in election. He just has to continue to do his job. The monoclonal centers are meds and are a brilliant effort to help sick Covid people. His military like precision demonstrates the effort.

    Much to gain with America’s Governor.

  • martin

    August 24, 2021 at 9:38 am

    look for who the Democrats and media attack the most out of fear and that’s your candidate. The left and media have always feared those they can’t control and are not beholden to anyone, and proof of that is their love affair with the likes of Cheney and Kinzinger. Thanks to them, the dem’s will always know who to vote for. No thought process needed, just cast your vote for the person the dem run media approves of.


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