Research shows Ron DeSantis with second-worst LGBTQ reputation of any Governor
Ron and Casey DeSantis visit the location of the Pulse nightclub on the 3rd anniversary of the shooting that left 49 people dead.

ron desantis
Signal AI finds only Texas Gov. Greg Abbott fares worse on the issue.

Gov. Ron DeSantis holds one of the worst reputations in the country for policies targeting LGBTQ Americans.

That’s the finding from reputation-management company Signal AI, which researched media coverage of Governors in all 50 states to find which holds the best (and worst) media sentiment as it relates to LGBTQ issues.

The firm found DeSantis behind only Texas Gov. Greg Abbott regarding bad reputation related to the topic.

The research shows DeSantis’ actions around LGBTQ issues generated 131 negative stories in top-tier media and newspaper coverage in a timespan spreading from April 1, 2021, to April 30, 2022. By comparison, there were 61 positive stories.

The level of attention places DeSantis second among all Governors in terms of close association with queer politics, with the second-most negative coverage.

The study specifically notes the level of attention to a parental rights law labeled by critics as the “don’t say gay” bill. The new law forbids instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and requires those topics to be handled in an age-appropriate manner in all grades.

The study also found DeSantis’ attention to LGBTQ issues also drew the most positive media attention, 61 pieces, of any of the 10 governors most associated with this policy area. Abbott, by comparison, tallied just one positive article in the 13 months studied. DeSantis also led in terms of neutral coverage.

Abbott’s decision to direct state welfare workers to investigate parents of trans children for child abuse generated the most negative coverage on LGBTQ issues. Notably, state Rep. Randy Fine, a Palm Bay Republican who has carried many of DeSantis’ priority bills, has called for similar action in Florida.

Other Governors to make the list are included in order: Republican Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas; Republican Kristi Noem of South Dakota; Democrat Gavin Newsom of California; Republican Kim Reynolds of Iowa; Democrat Jared Polis of Colorado; Democrat John Bel Edwards of Louisiana; Republican Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma; and Democrat Phil Murphy of New Jersey.

The data was released Tuesday on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. The day marks the anniversary of a 1990 decision by the World Health Organization to no longer list homosexuality as a mental disorder.

“LGBTQ+ rights is one of the foremost civil rights battles of our time,” said David Benigson, Signal AI’s CEO and founder. “And with that in mind, we wanted to dig into the media sphere around LGBTQ+ and find out which individuals and companies have the biggest negative and positive perception around the topic ahead of this year’s historic International Day Against Transphobia.”

More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies employ Signal AI to make market decisions.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • marcus

    May 18, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    I am sure he is losing sleep….NOT!

  • Can't win 'em all

    May 18, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    Not the champion of a sex-issue pressure group trying to wrench American society into a way of living that has been historically rejected? Oh well, can’t be everyone’s buddy.

  • Tom

    May 18, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    It is disingenuously offensive to have a Research group supposed monitor media coverage and then suggest the study’s is based upon that media coverage. What happened to honest work and research on the substantive laws and record. Any review should be on policies and laws, or proposed or implemented administratively.

    What a crock of Adam Schiff, in a old Nancy Pelosi nap sack for Chuck Schumer. You talk about bending over in public to appease and provide disinformation. Shameful.

    Oh yeah get America’s Gov is the objective.

  • Donna Stillwell

    May 18, 2022 at 3:36 pm

    I’m glad our Governor has his priorities in order and doesn’t want pervert teachers talking to our vulnerable and impressionable children about gender identity and perverted sex acts. Kids are confused enough! Their innocence is being corrupted at EVERY turn! We need to purge our schools of all these pedophiles and perverts!

    • Kathryn

      May 18, 2022 at 10:55 pm

      I taught for 43 years in Fl. There has never been any perverse instruction that you’ve named in our public school system. I can’t believe this type of slandering is thrown upon the instruction of our most precious children who deserve the best education possible.

  • Just a comment

    May 18, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    Well when somebody said chemical imbalance to the hill somebody might have

  • Nancy

    May 18, 2022 at 7:09 pm

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  • Brandon

    May 18, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    My moderate to liberal gay son will vote for DeSantis this year even though in 2018 he voted for Gillum. The reason is that he does not see his rights being denied here in Florida nor does he play the victim as many in the gay community do. In fact, he rolls his eyes that the best that Democrats can do is……Charlie Crist.

    Get over it Florida Politics and accept that DeSantis will get re-elected.

  • Jerry

    May 18, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    Why is the parental rights bill such a big problem? It doesn’t just ban discussion of gay sex but straight sex too. We don’t want young children being taught about sex and sexuality at such young ages. Why are liberals so angry about that?

    This is a discussion that needs go be given by parents, not public schools!

  • Edward Lyle

    May 19, 2022 at 8:05 am

    Why are Democrats and some School Boards and teachers so obsessed with sexualizing children and protecting pedophiles?

    … or did I just answer my own question there

  • Itold Usoh

    May 19, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    “The research shows DeSantis’ actions around LGBTQ issues generated 131 negative stories in top-tier media and newspaper coverage in a timespan spreading from April 1, 2021, to April 30, 2022. ” LOL.

    That’s probably just the Miami Herald. I have never seen a news organization take such a hate toward a politician. They just loathe Ron DeSantis. And who, at the the consulting firm no one has ever heard of, is to judge what is “negative”?

    The Miami Herald now is mostly sports, fluff pieces on local restaurants and night spots, and one or two hate-DeSantis items. Far, far from its past of strong, local NEWS reporting.

    • Tom

      May 19, 2022 at 9:03 pm

      As I outlined above, it is a total fraud piece to create a narrative of hate towards DeSantis bout that community. Hedoes need to be cautious of being tagged openly. They are attempting to do so with other groups as well. He needs to be aware.
      Not even based on law and policy.
      Just scurrilous.

  • Impeach Biden

    May 19, 2022 at 2:20 pm

    So the LGBTQ community makes up around 7% of the population nationally and around 5% in the state of Florida. This is classic “ the tail wagging the dog” and “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” I have absolutely no problem with these folks and have a couple of couples that live in my neighborhood. Just don’t jam this down the throats of the remaining 95% that are out there. Still can’t believe that moron Chapek got pulled into this.

Comments are closed.


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