DeSantis Polls Better than Biden in the Sunshine State But Floridians Don’t Want Governor to Run for President

Quinnipiac University released a poll of Florida voters on Wednesday which shows Gov. Ron DeSantis is above water while President Joe Biden is upside down in the Sunshine State.

DeSantis is approved by 47 percent of those surveyed while 45 percent disapprove of him. There is a major partisan divide on the governor’s performance as 92 percent of Democrats disapprove of him while 87 percent of Republicans approve of him. Independents are more divided with 47 percent approving of him while 43 percent disapprove of him.

Still, DeSantis gets lower marks on the pandemic with 51 percent disapproving of his handling of the coronavirus while 46 percent approve of it. While 85 percent of Republicans approve of the way DeSantis handled the coronavirus and 93 percent of Democrats disapprove of it, the governor does not do well as well as independents here with 55 percent disapproving of his handling of the coronavirus and 43 percent approving it. Asked how DeSantis is doing with public schools, 51 percent disapprove of his handling of them while 44 percent approve of it.

“Amid a frightening surge in cases, DeSantis weathers withering criticism from critics on his handling of COVID-19. His numbers have actually improved from a year ago. But he’s still not as popular as he was before the pandemic,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.

Biden is upside down with 40 percent approval and 53 percent disapproval in Florida. While 91 percent of Republicans disapprove of Biden and 87 percent of Democrats approve of him, the president is not doing well with independents in the Sunshine State as 56 percent disapprove of him and 36 percent approve of him. Asked about Biden’s handling of the pandemic, 47 percent approve and 49 percent disapprove.

“Florida’s voters approve less of the president’s overall job performance than they do of his handling of the pandemic,” said Malloy.

Turning to 2022 and beyond, 48 percent of Florida voters say DeSantis deserves a second term while 45 percent do not think he does. Once again, there is a major partisan gap with 87 percent of Republicans backing four more years for DeSantis while 90 percent of Democrats want him out of Tallahassee. Independents are more divided with 49 percent saying the governor deserves a second term while 43 percent say he does not.

Asked if DeSantis should run for president in 2024, 59 percent of those surveyed say he should not while 35 percent think he should seek the White House. Most Republicans–67 percent–want to see DeSantis run for president and 96 percent of Democrats say he should not seek the presidency. Most independents–61 percent–say DeSantis should not run for president in 2024 while 35 percent think he should.

“Do Florida voters want to send DeSantis back to Tallahassee? It’s a toss-up. But 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is, for now, just not in the cards,” said Malloy.

A majority of those surveyed–57 percent–are satisfied with how things in Florida while 41 percent are not.

More than half of those surveyed–51 percent–think climate change will hit Florida during their lifetimes while 44 percent disagree.

Asked if DeSantis is doing enough to address rising sea levels, 55 percent say no while 30 percent think he is doing enough. More than half of those surveyed–52 percent–think DeSantis needs to do more to protect the Everglades while 35 percent think he is doing enough.

The poll of 889 self-identified registered voters in Florida was taken from August 17 through August 21 with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com

KEVIN DERBY
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