Floridians conflicted: Gov. DeSantis sees high marks on economy, but division on race relations, unifying state
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Funding For Nursing Education
DeSantis' strong marks in the economic arena will likely help in the Midterms, in which voters will be focusing on pocketbook issues.

Floridians are split on their approval of Gov. Ron DeSantis — while 50% approve of his job with the state economy, half are dissatisfied with his role in unifying the state. That’s according to a new poll conducted by researchers from the University of South Florida and Florida International University.

The poll, which surveyed 600 Floridians from July 2 through July 10, found that while the Governor’s overall approval ratings have remained strong, there has been a slight decline in support from highs observed in an April poll. Quotas were stratified by region of the state for geographical representativeness.

Half of Floridians — 50% — approve of the state’s economy under DeSantis, with only 41% of respondents disapproving and another 9% unsure. But, that’s about where a clear approval ends, with most of DeSantis’ ratings split between Floridians.

The Governor earned low marks for race relations, with 46% of respondents disapproving of his work in that department, and 43% approving. And people were passionate about this topic — of all the options, the most selected answer in race relations was “strongly disapprove,” at 35%. That’s compared to a near-even split between “strongly approve” (23%) and “somewhat approve” (20%), and the more moderate answer of “somewhat disapprove” at 11%. Another 11% said they were unsure.

DeSantis saw his lowest approval rating in response to his work on climate change — 42% approved of his job on the issue, while 44% disapproved. Of note, 14% of respondents were unsure of their thoughts on his climate change policy.

Floridians appeared most polarized on the topic of COVID-19, with 33% strongly approving of DeSantis’ response and 37% strongly disapproving. Overall, more respondents said they disapproved of DeSantis’ handling of COVID-19 at 48%, compared to the 47% that approved. Only 5% of respondents said they were unsure.

Despite his lowest approval rate being climate change issues, Floridians were split with scoring DeSantis on his conservation and environmental policy. About 44% said they approve of his work in that area, while 43% disapproved, along with 13% who said they were unsure.

As has already been hinted at with the degree of responses, nearly half — 49% — of Floridians disapprove of the job DeSantis is doing in unifying the state under a polarizing time politically. That category is where DeSantis earns his highest “strongly disapprove” mark, with 39% of respondents selecting that option. In comparison, 43% approve of the job DeSantis is doing in unifying the state, and 8% are unsure.

DeSantis’ strong marks in the economic arena will likely help in the Midterms — 74% of voters saying they’re planning on voting based on pocketbook issues like jobs, the economy and inflation, while 26% plan on focusing on social issues like abortion and LGBTQ rights.

And with DeSantis acting as a head to the state’s GOP leadership, Republicans will likely see strong support in the Midterms, especially when looking at approval rates of the President, a top figure among Democrats.

The poll also surveyed respondents on President Joe Biden, with findings consistent with national polls showing a declining approval rate. President Biden’s approval among Florida voters continued to slip, as compared to the April survey. A majority of respondents now “disapprove” of the job being done by the President in all areas, with 63% disapprove of the job being done by the President on immigration and border security, while 62% disapprove of the President’s performance when it comes to jobs and the economy.

As far as specific topics go, the top three most important issues facing Florida, according to the respondents, are economy and jobs (35%), government corruption (11%) and health care (9%).

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


  • Tom

    July 12, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    What a awful poll, confusion and outlines that create a disoriented understanding.

    Apparently no body’s job was saved by his Covid policies. Kids didn’t commit suicide cause they lost out on education, school abs social opportunity’s. Moms and Dads working, didn’t succeed cause they weren’t locked down like blue state tyrants.

    His policies on Covid propelled the economic recovery. You can’t have it both ways.

    Are you kidding me on climate change? What are we doing, blocking China’s and India’s pollution? Florida has cleaned and protected actuaries, waterways, and canals, and Lake O had been protected.

    This reads like a blue print for a Dem candidate.
    What a baked poll. My goodness, and on top of it all, it barely provided a favorable view and provided no head to head poll vs either chameleon or Fraud.

    The two universities should apologize.
    Crock of Adam Schiff. Brutal

    • Ocean Joe

      July 12, 2022 at 6:54 pm

      Tom, he’s a divisive extremist, and a bully (high school presser), who will probably get reelected. That means the poll is pretty accurate. In other words, less colorful than yours, he’s just not lovable to about 46% of us. In fact, to go out on a long, termite infested limb….even Rick Scott, was less divisive.

    • Elliott Offen

      July 13, 2022 at 7:45 pm

      ^ False information and far right propaganda…

  • PeterH

    July 12, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    DeSantis and his foolish Republican drones are so shortsighted. Young Floridians are “woke” …. and rapidly moving foreword while Republicans are trying to to return America to a magical imaginary place called “1940!”

    DeSantis isn’t right for Florida and he certainly isn’t right for the Oval Office. Vote DeSantis out of office.

    • Bill

      July 13, 2022 at 8:03 am

      Boomers are definitely not the target audience anymore and they don’t seem happy about it. Even though I’m not optimistic, I’d like to see him voted out come November. If he does get elected, he’ll be a lame duck day one because everyone expects him to run for national office in two years anyhow. Time will tell I guess.

      • Tom

        July 13, 2022 at 10:02 am

        La, La, La and Wah, Wah Wah peter h and bill.

        We are in a recession and it will be worse Labor Day. It’s the economy stupid, but not for stupid Manchurians.

        With recession 40 to 70 new house seats, and 4 to 6 senate seats flip.

        Biden’s 29% approval give Dumings, Chameleon or fraud no chance.

        Enjoy the beat down!

  • Tom

    July 12, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Ocean I’ve used polls in congressional races. This is a dishonest poll to solicit the best case scenario for Dums, and to belittle Ron. Just a joke.

    They surveyed 600 voters, 7 pts more of D’s compared to R’s, 91% to 84%. Go figure. Even though R’s have a 200,000 advantage on R & D registration. Laughable. Just dishonest.

    You guys are like a broken record. You just repeat talking points.

    He’s in the high 50’s to low 60’s on approval, his economic score is high 50’s. How can he possibly heal” on race when Dems scream racism if it’s not for them first. What have the Dems done in the last 25 yrs, white or minority for race? Really ocean? Spare me.

    No head to head, just a sand bag poll.
    Just a compete Schiff poll. Garbage.
    Just a freaking joke, when you have to stoop to this level to somehow drag someone down.

    You and your Manchurian nation barking bully all the tine. . What are you guys babies? The media is night and day vs Repub. & Dems. No comparison.

    How dishonest.

  • ScienceBLVR

    July 12, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    I like to see a poll of some of the groups he has marginized, oppressed, and stripped of their freedom. Educators at every level, the LGBTQ, community, scientists, women who want autonomy in their health decisions, parents who don’t want their children indoctrinated with CRT-Christian Rhetoric Theory….the list is endless of Floidians who don’t approve of Dictator DeSantis. Here’s hoping they vote.

    • Tom

      July 12, 2022 at 9:06 pm

      Typical of you mis believer.
      How about ski the abuses you and your corrupt party have engaged in.
      Spare us the holier though elitism
      You morons believe your Manchurian babble. Manchurian 101, just say it, repeat it and repeat 1000 times more. Dunce city.

      You, your neighbor, the guy across the street from you and your aunt Agnes have more freedom now, compared to previous Covid.

      DeSantis saved Florida even for pathetic ones like you.

      Go shove it up pie hole! Thy had to bake poll to encourage your losers.

    • Tom

      July 13, 2022 at 7:23 am

      Misbeliever and ocean Joe.

      According to your Dummycrat party, men can have children at birth. What a clown show joke. And you both whine, and complain.

  • Just a comment

    July 12, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    I have no understanding in long hit Florida
    Florida is getting overcrowded
    Climate will change by 10 degrees

  • Bill

    July 13, 2022 at 7:56 am

    I’d like to see what DeSantis thinks about … pretty much anything but he only goes on fox news and I don’t watch that. That divisive nonsense will only get him so far although, as a strategy, I am curious to see how he fairs completely ignoring half of the electorate.

    • Tom

      July 13, 2022 at 8:09 am

      Bill, He has not ignored anybody in the electorate.

      All Florida has been lifted, all benefited, and all have participated.
      Stop the divisive Dem tactics.

      Less than 3% unemployment is all Floridians benefiting. Blue state tyrants have made working people suffer. Florida has 7.8% wage growth.
      Educators, law enforcement, first responders, blue collar workers have been supported.

      Parents were supported with open schools, kids lives were saved from possible suicides.

      Rising tide for all.

    • Tom

      July 13, 2022 at 8:57 am

      More bad news for Dums this morning.

      Inflation @ 40 yr high. Since 1981.
      We are at very likely in “recession” now.
      That spells disaster for Dums, 50 to 70 new GOP House seats will likely flip. Florida will also reflect this landslide.

      You Manchurians getting a real dumping.
      Enjoy, very well deserved.

      • Sammy

        July 13, 2022 at 10:57 am

        ^ This socialist wants government intervention in the free market so that he can get cheap stuff! Not governments fault you can’t afford stuff. “Go out and get a better education and a better job.” – Rick Scott

  • Sammy

    July 13, 2022 at 10:55 am

    DeSantis collaborated with ISIS against coalition forces in Iraq…also raped a corpse. Vote Crist for governor

Comments are closed.


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