Floridians are unhappy with state’s leaders, poll shows

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By Giselle Balido

April 5, 2024

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republican state lawmakers are facing dismal approval ratings from Floridians who see the Sunshine State “on the wrong track.”

Most voters think Florida is on the ‘wrong track,’ according to the latest research from the Florida Communications and Research Hub run by Florida Watch and Progress Florida.

The two progressive groups’ polling shows Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Legislature both underwater in job approval ratings.

10 key findings from the survey

  • 53% of Floridians believe the state is on the “wrong track,” while 31% believe Florida is headed in the “right direction.”
  • 49% give the Legislative branch an “unfavorable” rating vs 37% giving it a “favorable” one.
  • 52% disapprove of DeSantis’ current job performance, with 48% approving the governor’s actions.
  • 49% of Floridians disapprove of DeSantis’ handling of the economy, with only 46% approving.
  • 62% disapprove of how the governor is dealing with the affordable housing and property insurance crises.
  • Roughly 75% of respondents oppose lowering the gun-buying age to 18.
  • Some 63% oppose a new law loosening work limits for teen employees.
  • About 53% oppose a bill that would eliminate references to climate change in state law.
  • 50% of voters oppose and 31% support a ban on local minimum wage laws that would prevent local governments from setting minimum wages for their contractors and subcontractors.
  • Nearly 58% oppose a bill to end civilian review boards probing allegations of police misconduct in the state.

 

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The results show a marked downward turn for the governor and the Republican majority state legislature from last year. In 2023, polls showed more Floridians were optimistic about the state, with 46% answering Florida was headed in the “right direction,” while 42% put it on the “wrong track.”

But according to pollsters, that changed after culture war issues–such as public-school book bans and limits to freedoms for the LGBTQ communities–became the state Legislature’s key focus. At the same time, rent and property insurance rates rose dramatically, forcing many Floridians to forgo insurance or leave their homes.

RELATED: ‘It Has Come to the Point Where You Wonder if You Can Stay in This City,’ Floridians Ask as Prices Soar

 

“Floridians continue to struggle under an affordability crisis that has them wondering if they can keep their homes while insurance rates skyrocket, enjoy a secure retirement, or pay for medical care,” said Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo.

“[Floridians] see Governor Ron DeSantis and policymakers in the Florida Legislature as more interested in promoting corporate greed, extremist ideology, and self-serving political ambition instead of what’s best for working families and seniors,” added Florida Watch Deputy Director Natasha Sutherland.

Author

  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.

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