Poll shows voters starting to sour on Ron DeSantis

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Florida Communications and Research Hub found Florida voters weary of the presidential candidate's agenda.

Florida voters are starting to turn on Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to new polling from Progress Florida and Florida Watch.

The organizations, collectively known as the Florida Communications and Research Hub, asked voters whether they approved of the Republican presidential candidate and found him underwater 52%-45%. DeSantis’ favorability rating is also in the negative, 50%-45%.

Compared to a year ago, when DeSantis was re-elected by nearly 20 points, the Hub’s polling shows nothing short of a nose-dive. As recently as February, the Governor’s approval rating was in the positive by double digits. By May it was a coin flip.

His ratings on key issues have also taken a turn for the worse. Six months ago, voters disapproved of his job addressing housing issues by an 11-point margin. His score has sunk further since then, with the December results showing 62% disapproval and 29% approval. Health care affordability slipped from a plus-1 to a minus-14 and double-digit advantages on economic and public safety issues have all but evaporated.

“As Gov. Ron DeSantis has traveled the country speaking to voters in other states, his constituents in Florida are growing increasingly dissatisfied with the job he is doing to address the issues impacting their daily lives here at home,” Florida Watch Executive Director Josh Weierbach said. “Ahead of this year’s Legislative Session, it certainly appears that working families and seniors in Florida are dissatisfied with the perceived lack of leadership being provided by the Governor during his campaign for President.”

The poll indicates DeSantis’ numbers could tumble further depending on the fate of some controversial proposals pitched for the 2024 Session, which begins Jan. 9.

Voters particularly despise a bill (HB 17) that would clear gun purchases after three days if there’s a holdup in the background check process — just 14% of voters support it compared to 77% in opposition. A plan to exempt private aircraft from sales taxes scored a minus-56; a ban on citizen review boards for law enforcement is at minus-33; and a measure loosening labor laws for teenagers is at minus-29.

Meanwhile, policies pitched by Democrats are fairly popular. More than four out of five voters support raising minimum teacher pay to $65,000 a year and the same number support universal background checks for firearm sales or transfers. Further, nearly three-quarters of voters said they support capping rent increases at 5% a year.

“Floridians are overwhelmingly in support of protecting our environment, public safety, patients seeking abortion care, and the rights of workers and renters, but appear underwhelmed with key proposals being pushed by legislators in the majority in Tallahassee,” said Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo. “This polling should serve as a wake-up call to those setting the legislative priorities during Session that it is time to step up and address the real issues that are impacting their constituents instead of the needs of corporate donors or the political ambitions of other elected officials.”

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


  • Joe

    December 18, 2023 at 1:06 pm


    • Dont Say FLA

      December 18, 2023 at 6:48 pm

      Ditto. STARTING? lol

    • Earl Pitts "Sage Expert on Political Matters" American

      December 19, 2023 at 9:52 am

      Good Morn ‘Ting “Dook 4 Brains Lefty’s,
      Now everyone just relax your sphincters and work with Earl on this “ALL CRITICAL” excersise in regaining your mental health.
      OK, everybody just clear your minds and pretend to be normal.
      Thank you, now as a “Normal Minded Person” proceed to read all the comments below:
      See??? …. Told ya so …. all the below comments are clearly made by mentaly defective “Dook 4 Brains Idiots”.
      Now that you all realize how wrong you have been its time to show your love and gratitude to Earl for setting you free!!!!
      “I, former Dook 4 Brains *insert your name here _________________ hereby love and thank “The Sage” Earl Pitts American for cleansing my brain of all the Dook and turining me, former Dook 4 Brains *insert your nane here ______________ into a normal conservative American Patriot.
      Thank you former Dook 4 Brains Lefty’s,
      Earl Pitts American

  • TallyPatriot

    December 18, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    Real Americans don’t like you Ron. We won’t put you anywhere near the WH.

  • Michael K

    December 18, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    The DeSanti are as welcome as the proverbial turd in the punch bowl. Nobody likes them, nobody wants them. We just want them to go away and stay away.

  • Impeach Biden

    December 18, 2023 at 3:18 pm

    The national media, this site and others have been after DeSantis since he announced his candidacy. They all knew that he could easily defeat “Dementia” Joe. The media wants Trump as the Repub nominee because they think even incompetent Biden can beat him. Mission accomplished.

    • Michael K

      December 18, 2023 at 4:14 pm

      It’s his ugly policies, his bitterness, hypocrisy, irrational hatred of fellow citizens, and abuse of power that people don’t like – on top of having the personality and warmth of a Roomba.

      • John L

        December 19, 2023 at 10:20 am

        Desantis has been MIA for a year in Florida. Housing prices are skyrocketing and so is property insurance but he lives in Iowa and has visited every county there. 88 in all. Has he been in all of Floridas?

    • Marvin M.

      December 18, 2023 at 4:38 pm

      That’s an interesting theory, but aside from the fact the “the national media” is not a monolith, directed by one voice trying to promote one aim, it is absolutely untrue that anyone could “know” that DeSantis would definitely beat Trump in the primary, and then go on to beat Joe Biden in the general.

      Now, they might have “thought” that, before DeSantis got on the trail.
      But since starting to campaign, he has shown himself to be a pretty unattractive candidate. He was supposed to have been “Trump without the baggage”, someone who would appeal to moderate Republicans and Independents. But book bans, anti-gay legislation, 6 week abortion ban, fights with Disney, all that showed that he was not in any way moderate. And he rarely took a shot at Trump, his biggest rival in the Republican nomination. He never made the case of why you should vote for him instead of Trump. Sure, lately he’s been doing more of that, but sorry, too little too late.

      So you don’t need to make some crazy conspiracy theory about why DeSantis is trailing Trump so badly in the polls. DeSantis is a lousy candidate and that is all of his own making, not any media framing.

      • Dont Say FLA

        December 18, 2023 at 7:38 pm

        Rhonds does excel in “too little,” but “too late” is not normally his thing. Normally it’s “too early” and frequently even prior to insertion.

    • John L

      December 19, 2023 at 10:18 am

      Sorry, but Ron did himself in. He let absolute power in Florida corrupt him absolutely. He stopped being a moderate which he was when he barely won in his first term and started joining the wacky right wing to try to go to the right of Trump. His woke wars made him look silly and then you add that he come off as mean and unlikeable and you get him being down by 40 plus points to Trump. He has zero shot at white house and will crawl back to Florida a screw up the state for two more years.

  • My Take

    December 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    As a national candidate, DeSSgustus has a very wide range of subjects to comment on … and be seen a fool regarding.

  • JD

    December 18, 2023 at 4:07 pm


    Good, it finally being seen enough to be noticed in polls.

    Keep it alive that ALL REPUBICANS in Florida legislature enabled Desantis and should have a reckoning as well.

    • Ron Florida Ron

      December 19, 2023 at 7:55 am

      Florida and other locked down states need to amend their state constitutions ASAP to allow for recall votes for getting losers like Ron DeSantiis out of office before the end of their terms.

      Yes, locked down. All Rhonda’s talk about Covid lock downs is just a distraction from the real lock down, the one at the ballot box.

      Florida’s voters, and other G0P run states’ voters, we are the people who are locked down.

      No matter how shitty a politician in a G0P run state might be, (see Ken Paxton and Gregg Abbott of Texas as another couple examples), voters in those G0P run state are stuck with the guy whose lies they believed.

      If you live in a state with no recall mechanism, ask yourself: Why?

  • PeterH

    December 18, 2023 at 8:38 pm

    It’s not just DeSantis!!
    Republicans are America’s worst enemy!

    Vote all Republicans out of office!

  • Sonja Fitch

    December 19, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    Lol. Lol. Keep up that losing streak Desantis! Sir Floridians are not fooled or gullible! Floridians have to live with the f Desantis incompetence! Sir Floridians are a vast group of Americans that connect with other folks all over America. Yeah they tell them you bare totally incompetent! Whatever Desantis touches turns to spit!

  • Pastor Pasta

    December 19, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    The cognitive dissonance between what Florida voters want and what they continuously vote for is stunning.

Comments are closed.


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