FAU Poll Finds Florida Gov. DeSantis Off to a Good Start
Gov. Ron DeSantis' approval rating stands at 48 percent, while his disapproval is only at 18 percent, with 34 percent unsure. His plan to establish a task force to reduce the impacts of harmful algae blooms won support from 59 percent of respondents, while a majority of voters support eliminating the Common Core standards from exams in Florida.
Newly elected Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is enjoying widespread popularity from Florida voters who support his proposals to reduce the impacts of harmful algae blooms and eliminate Common Core standards, according to the statewide survey by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI).
The newly sworn-in governor’s approval rating stands at 48 percent, while his disapproval is only at 18 percent, with 34 percent unsure. His plan to establish a task force to reduce the impacts of harmful algae blooms won support from 59 percent of respondents, while 10 percent oppose, and 31 percent are undecided. A majority of voters (52 percent) support eliminating the Common Core standards from exams in Florida, while 21 percent oppose their elimination and 27 percent are undecided.
“Even though DeSantis had a tightly contested race for governor, it seems that Floridians are giving him a fresh start,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the BEPI. “DeSantis has started his role as governor tackling issues that are important for Floridians, such as environmental issues and education.”
Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative, said that while Florida continues to be a sharply divided state, there is a path forward with policies on education and the environment that appeal to members of both parties.
“Gov. DeSantis appears to be benefiting from following through on some of his campaign promises, especially his focus on the algae concerns,” Wagner said.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have something in common in Florida – their approval ratings are underwater. While 41 percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, 46 percent disapprove, and 13 percent are unsure. Pelosi scored 40 percent approval and 44 percent disapproval, with 16 percent unsure of the job she is doing as speaker.
A majority (55 percent) support the construction of an additional border wall along the border between the United States and Mexico, while 37 percent oppose, and 9 percent are undecided. With debate over this issue raging in Washington, D.C., 51 percent of Florida voters said they support Congressional funding for a border wall in exchange for avoiding another partial government shutdown, while 36 percent oppose and 13 percent are undecided.
Nearly one year after a mass shooting took the lives of 17 students and teachers at a South Florida high school, 45 percent of Floridians said they are extremely concerned about the physical safety of students at schools, while 41 percent said they are somewhat concerned, and 14 percent said they are not at all concerned.
Nearly two-thirds of Floridians (65 percent) said they think gun control laws should be made stricter, while 12 percent favor less strict gun laws and 23 percent said the laws should be left alone. A majority (51 percent) oppose giving teachers authority to carry firearms on school property, while 37 percent support the idea and 12 percent are undecided.
The survey was conducted Feb. 7-9 and polled 500 Florida registered voters. The survey was conducted using an online sample supplied by Survey Sampling International using online questionnaires and via an automated telephone platform (IVR) using registered voter lists supplied by Aristotle, Inc. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points. Responses for the entire sample were weighted to reflect the statewide distribution of the Florida population. The polling results and full cross-tabulations are available at www.business.fau.edu/bepi.