Poll: Ron DeSantis net approval falls 14 points among Florida voters as COVID-19 cases soar

He lost ground among Republicans, Democrats and independent voters.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ popularity among Florida voters is waning as COVID-19 continues to rip through the state, according to newly published polling results showing he has suffered a double-digit drop in approval since July.

A Morning Consult survey of nearly 4,200 voters in the Sunshine State revealed the pronounced negative shift in public perception of the first-term Florida Governor, who over the last two months has overseen an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases.

During that time, his net approval rating — the share of voters who approve of his job performance minus the share who disapprove — fell 14 percentage points.

Changes among Democrats and Republicans moved predictably. More than three-quarters of Democrats now disapprove of DeSantis, while a 4-percentage-point approval drop among Republicans still afforded him an 83% thumbs-up ranking.

The most marked change came among independents, 50% of whom approved of his work in late June to early July compared to 38% who did not. Of those polled Aug. 21-30, however, just 40% said he was doing a satisfactory job. Fifty-one percent frowned upon his service.

DeSantis’ 14-point loss was double that of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the other Governor examined in the poll. The two governors have approached the pandemic similarly, both blocking mask and vaccine mandates in their respective states, including in schools where many children still aren’t cleared to be vaccinated.

Schools have since fought back, passing mask mandates in defiance of an executive order DeSantis signed to block schools from requiring them without parental opt-out options.

By Friday, Florida had recorded more than 3.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 46,324 deaths since the pandemic’s onset, according to weekly data published by the Florida Department of Health.

Hospitalizations and COVID-19-related deaths in Florida reached all-time highs in August as the delta variant of the virus ravaged the state, prompting renewed attacks from Democrats — including President Joe Biden and gubernatorial candidates Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist — and others who argue DeSantis’ pandemic policies have had malignant effects.

To what degree DeSantis’ downturn in favorability affects his other assumed political aspirations, including a potential run for the White House in 2024, remains to be seen.

However, recent polling indicates he would have an uphill climb if he were to challenge Biden, whose strongest challenger remains former President Donald Trump.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • PeterH

    September 6, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    Ron DeSantis locked onto the failed leadership and insipid behavior of his coach Donald Trump. Independent voters and ‘never Trump’ organizations like the Lincoln Project now make the decision for the direction of State and Federal elections. Gradually the Republican Party will face the same demise as the Whig Party.

    The Republican Party’s implementation of voter suppression, draconian immigration leadership and coverup and complicity in their January 6th attempted coup has forever branded the GQP……real conservative patriots will not forget.

    • Tom

      September 6, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      Anything you say is ignorant and based upon hatred. Morning consolt poll is a joke.

      • Alex

        September 7, 2021 at 9:29 am

        ^ according to a 12 time proven liar.

        • Tom

          September 7, 2021 at 9:46 pm

          Says who, the scum bag socialist, Che Guevara want a be.
          You are a pathetic liar.
          Propagandist, you and peter are scum. You both crawl of the curb.
          The predator organization supporter peter h & the pathetic socialist.

          • Tom IsARWliar

            September 14, 2021 at 9:37 pm

            Too stupid to see the irony. You speak about propaganda and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is the “socialist” label like well trained right-wing sheep.

            You are ignorant and typical right-wing liar

      • Rick

        September 7, 2021 at 11:19 am

        I would say you’re the idiot if you’re trying to defend Ron Deathsantis and the corrupt GOP

        • mario

          September 7, 2021 at 3:30 pm

          no question if you can even show your face in public defending Biden and his idiots destroying this country you need to be in an insane asylum.

          • marioIS ARWidiot

            September 14, 2021 at 9:39 pm

            Its many times over easier defending Biden then far and away the worst president ever trump who is also far and away the most lying prone president and far and away the most corrupt, dumbest and ignorant president.
            How ignorant of you to say Biden is destroying this country when he trying to save if from what trump and his damn supporters did to our country

      • Shannon Twice Vaccinated

        September 10, 2021 at 9:55 am

        PeterH has made a sound argument. You really should reseach this. The Republican Party, i.e. Matt Gaetz, Ron DeSantis et al., have brought the party down to the lowest level ever.

        • Diane

          September 10, 2021 at 5:11 pm


      • Trumpisachildrapist

        September 10, 2021 at 8:23 pm


      • Trumpisachildrapist

        September 10, 2021 at 8:25 pm

        HEY TOM,

    • Ura Joke

      September 8, 2021 at 8:35 am

      “coverup and complicity in their January 6th attempted coup”

      Democrats control the Executive branch, the House, and the Senate. The FBI investigated and found there was no organization behind January 6th.

      Where’s this coverup conspiracy nonsense, Mr. Blueanon??

      • Robert H

        September 12, 2021 at 2:17 pm

        The FBI has not proven anything as of yet. Manchin lies just like Trump and the others. The Dems are just getting started with the investigation. The truth will come out.

    • Diane

      September 10, 2021 at 5:19 pm

      You nailed this as the Republicans have acted like they are a crazed group. It’s so hard to believe that they are actually Americans as everything they havd done in the last 5 years have been in total opposition of a patriot who loves our country. Their behaviors are insanely opposite of what they once were. Thanks to Trump and his degenerate children who have no moral compass. They need to charge them with many crimes as I am convinced that many laws have been done broken.

  • diane simeone

    September 6, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    Ron DeSantis is the biggest loser in history. He doesn’t care about the people of Florida only politics. You can see the crazy look in his eyes. People of Florida will continue to die under his watch and more children will get sick. You want a school with no mask close all schools and designate one just for the kids who’s parents don’t want them to wear masks. Don’t risk everyone’s life for craziness. Why would he push drugs over masks and vaccines – oh just to line his donors pockets. What I find interesting is the fact he pushes no mask at school but homeschools his child. Come Ron parade your child around with no mask. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PEACH YOU LOSER

    • David

      September 7, 2021 at 6:59 pm

      Gov. DeSantis “push[ing] drus over masks and vaccines”–I assume you mean the corrupt now-convicted ex-candidate Gillum? That’s who you want running this state?

      Amazing to see ungrateful Floridians besmirching the name of an honorable veteran, former lawyer, and morally respectable Governor who’s just trying to protect freedoms of Americans. Now because you think such protection automatically involves collateral damage by way of “no masks”? Enforced mandates over such things are unconstitutional, learn to live in freedom not fear.

      • Bonnie

        September 13, 2021 at 8:55 am

        Are polio shots or seat belts unconstitutional? I will never get used to a Governor who puts politics above people. The record number of deaths and Covid cases show that non-wearing masks have contributed to the escalated Covid-19 rates. Your point would be valid if the Covid rates decreased despite the non-wearing of masks. Why is Desantis pushing a Covid drug while also fighting mask mandates? This will cost him politically. Florida deserves better. Praying the mandates are reinstated.

        • Kevin

          September 16, 2021 at 8:28 am

          I was an early adopter of the vaccine (February) and wear a mask when shopping etc… I believe in them but also read a lot about the evolving science around this virus. The ‘story’ pushed by the medical bureaucrats has evolved so swiftly that my head is spinning. It went from “nothing to worry about” to where we are now with many changes in direction in between. What it really indicates is that they have no idea how to deal with this pandemic and have consistently contradicted their own guidance over time. As it relates to vaccines, many claims were made that now seem to have been guesses. You all want to bash the Republican governor and ignore statements made by Democrats during the campaign which cast doubt on the safety of the “Trump” vaccine. When it comes to putting an experimental vaccine in your body, words matter and impressions are persistent. Our African American community is extremely cautious because of experiments conducted on them by our government in the past. These folks are typically not Trumpers. Why in the world would you not want to offer that community a therapeutic that is highly effective as an alternative? Would it not be a dereliction of duty to do otherwise? Should they be forced to take the vaccine that they have a fear of? It is estimated that 100 million people in the US have been infected by the virus and have some level of natural immunity. The problem is that there is disagreement on how well it protects the individual. Shouldn’t we figure that out? Recent data from Israel indicates that the vaccinated had a 6x higher risk from Covid as those who were previously infected and unvaccinated. Other studies suggest that protection is equal between natural immunity and the 2 shot vaccine so there is certainly a reason for those who have recovered to object to a brute force mandate that they get the vaccine. Given the available data, why would our government mandate vaccination or else, rather than a test to determine the presence of antibodies/natural immunity? The problem that we now face is the result of the politicalization of our response to a public health crisis by unqualified politicians with no medical background. Our response should have been apolitical from the get go.

        • Kevin

          September 16, 2021 at 8:34 am

          BTW, I just looked and the Covid rates in Florida have decreased by 38% in the last 14 days.

      • marioIS ARWidiot

        September 14, 2021 at 9:41 pm

        Its many times over easier defending Biden then far and away the worst president ever trump who is also far and away the most lying prone president and far and away the most corrupt, dumbest and ignorant president.
        How ignorant of you to say Biden is destroying this country when he trying to save if from what trump and his damn supporters did to our country

  • Tom

    September 7, 2021 at 3:25 am

    Jesse, a week old article to be resurrected that’s clearly out of sync with reality.
    Good going.

    • Oscar

      September 7, 2021 at 7:11 pm


  • Andrew Finn

    September 7, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Emperor DeSantis’ fall in popularity is a welcome sight. People are finally catching on to the fact that the only thing DeSantis is interested in is DeSantis. He will continue his “war on children” with his moronic mask fight and the people of Florida will pay for it. He will continue wasting time and money challenging the court rulings and take more and more people’s lives with him on his road to Hell.

    • Richard

      September 7, 2021 at 7:05 pm

      I think a Christian leader with morals and the guts to stand up for people’s liberties is more Heaven-bound than the Hell-bound sinner who profanes and criticizes his name from his living room sofa.

      • Ace

        September 9, 2021 at 8:30 pm

        Oh, is that what Trump is up to these days?

      • Marcus

        September 10, 2021 at 7:10 pm

        I would not want to go a heaven populated by people who are not concerned for the health and wellbeing of others as evidenced by refusal to take simple public health precautions such as wearing masks and getting vaccinated.

      • Trumpisachildrapist

        September 10, 2021 at 8:30 pm


      • Robert H

        September 12, 2021 at 2:25 pm

        DeSantis a Christian leader? Haha, do you know your Bible? Matthew 18:6 – But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, …

  • Rin Tin Tin

    September 7, 2021 at 10:20 am

    There is a certain slang term for “vagina” that ought never be applied to a woman but there are some men, some times, for which really no other descriptor shall suffice. DeSantis is the man and this is the time. Truly.

    • Oscar

      September 7, 2021 at 7:01 pm

      Vulgar people such as yourself unkind sir ought to go by what they say, Mr. “vagina” Rin Tin Tin.

    • Trumpisachildrapist

      September 10, 2021 at 8:32 pm

      hey rintintin


  • harry kamalatoe

    September 7, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Did anyone look at the polling data? I admit I didn’t, because none of the links above actually link to the actual polls the author claims to have used for writing this article.

    If you are going to make claims, at least link the accurate and factual data you are claiming to use as your basis for argument.

  • Linwood Wright

    September 7, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Huh, turns out people don’t like it when the governor turns out to be a Bioterrorist.

    • Oscar

      September 7, 2021 at 7:03 pm

      Americans’ sense of perceived superiority and ungrateful disdain for their blessings is so palpably offensive. Try visiting other countries with real bioweapons used against their peoples instead of scrutinizing a respectable leader who’s merely trying to avoid such a vaccine from being weaponized against peoples’ careers, jobs, and futures for not taking it.

  • JiminIndy

    September 7, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    Because data clearly show that registered Republicans are among the vast majority of unvaccinated patients who are being hospitalized and dying in Florida,it seems a real possibility that continued development or more virulent and transmissible viruses will simply lead to their extinction. And perhaps that should happen.

    If you can’t exercise enough wisdom and selflessness to help protect others from disease, you deserve to move on from this universe. Our existence is finite enough as it is.

    • Oscar

      September 7, 2021 at 7:08 pm

      HA! With the people dying from myocarditis from the vaccine? Vs. people with unmutated genes who didn’t take it? If the changes aren’t reflected in the opposite manner as you suggested within our lifetime, certainly the next generation will be sharply disparite from the prior, a root cause perhaps attributable to who took mRNA vaccines and who didn’t.

      • Althea Frary

        September 8, 2021 at 4:06 pm

        HA! Liar Liar…Data reflects that there have been 323 persons with reported myocarditis after mRNA vaccination. Of those meeting CDC’s case definitions, 309 (96%) were hospitalized. Acute clinical courses were generally mild; among 304 hospitalized patients with known clinical outcomes, 95% had been discharged at time of review, and NONE HAVE DIED.


        • PeterH

          September 8, 2021 at 4:21 pm

          Thank you for providing a reality check Althea Frary! Great job!

        • Trumpisachildrapist

          September 10, 2021 at 8:35 pm

          Thank you, Althea Frary for providing these magamorons with a dose of fact checking & reality. Great job!!

      • Trumpisachildrapist

        September 10, 2021 at 8:36 pm

        You’ll end up winning a darwin award.

  • Robert Wagenaar

    September 7, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    How dare he say masks aren’t healthy during such a time? And surely he misspoke when he said getting vaccinated helps no one else. Sure it’s not a guarantee of not getting and spreading it, but better than nothing. That’s why Pres. Trump, Repubs and Dems in Congress went for warp speed to have companies be able to develop them.

  • Mickey Owens

    September 8, 2021 at 11:17 am

    I think DeSantis goal is to kill 80% of the Fl. voters then he would
    have a chance at Re Election . He’s doing a hell of a job.

  • Seamus

    September 8, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Where did this guy get his head examined!
    Apparently the GOP was notified!

  • Dirty Sanchez

    September 13, 2021 at 3:17 am

    ron desAntiS Seems like tHe kind Of same oLd rEpublican.

  • Jean S Newman

    September 13, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    DeSantis appears to be using the children “to get his own way”. Without a good education, they will not be able to compete against children or graduates of other states. And even the youngest child knows “something is wrong”…How many times has there been an argument or very bad news that you tried to shield your child from knowing about – but find out that they knew all along that something was wrong. Tell him to stop doing that & to listen what your child’s MD is safe – NOT just want the politician-DeSantis wants.

  • ToddA

    September 14, 2021 at 7:51 am

    It would be great if all those who are unvaccinated got the shot and put an end to the pandemic. It’s what’s best for our country, our economy etc. And I would encourage all to do so. But as I say that I know there’s about 25-30% of the population that absolutely refuses to get vaccinated and to wear masks. And DeSantis and other Republican politicians are clinging to power frantically by appealing to this extreme element of their base. But the irony here is that the people they need to get elected are dying off in far greater numbers than those who won’t vote for them.

    The Republican Party already skews towards an older demographic, and those voters are not getting any younger nor can they buck the actuarial tables. They can’t win the younger voters because they are on the wrong side of the climate debate, gay marriage, stricter gun laws, race relations. So they need the older folks to hang on as long as they can and oh yeah, they need middle aged voters to not die off disproportionately due to sheer willful ignorance. But that’s exactly what they are doing. States were already trending from purple to blue, wanna guess how those trends will go when 80-90% of the unvaccinated are Republican, and 90 to 98% of Covid hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated?

    So it sucks that this pandemic is going longer than it should, and I wish folks would wise up, but as long as they don’t I’m left looking for a silver lining and these folks, who are stridently anti science, anti intellectual, anti democracy (unless their candidate wins), are self selecting out of our democracy and life. It is what it is. Maybe next election cycle we can elect leaders who will attack global warming in earnest and will end our dependence on fossil fuels.

  • PeterH

    September 14, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Well thought out analysis. As a conservative I was shocked when the July CPAC crowd cheered on the report that America didn’t meet the target of getting 70% of the population vaccinated. It was clear that these phony “patriots” were willing to sacrifice their followers to prove a point to Biden.

    So where did that leave us! A new variant and a more deadly summer surge.

    ……. And the longer we wait to get vaccinated the higher the threshold to meet to obtain herd immunity. Those stubborn anti vaxers who were infected in January 2021 think they are immune to all future variants.

    Sadly, the only fix to slow down future variants is the vaccine……but many choose to believe right wing propaganda instead of the qualified health advisors who they demonize.

Comments are closed.


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