New poll: DeSantis has much stronger approval ratings in FL than Trump or Biden

Meanwhile, men approve of the governor’s job performance more than women do

By: - April 4, 2023 5:00 am

Former U.S. President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speak at midterm election rallies, in Dayton, Ohio, on Nov. 7, 2022, and Tampa on Nov. 8, 2022. (Reuters/Gaelen Morse, Marco Bello)

As he moves closer to becoming a presidential candidate, Gov. Ron DeSantis is by far the most popular potential presidential pick in Florida in 2024, garnering much higher approval ratings than former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden in a new poll published Tuesday.

“In a head-to-head Republican presidential primary match-up, DeSantis currently holds a 44%-39% lead over Trump,” the survey shows. And based on statewide name recognition, 53% of voters have a favorable opinion of DeSantis compared to Trump’s 39% and Biden’s 33%.

“DeSantis is, by far, more popular than either Biden or Donald Trump,” according to the survey.

The Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, Inc. survey of 625 registered Florida voters was conducted by phone, live, between March 27 and March 30. That last day was when news broke that Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury for his alleged role in a scandal stemming from hush money payments prior to the 2016 presidential election.

In the category of job performance, DeSantis’ figure is now at 59%, the second highest ever in a Mason-Dixon poll since DeSantis was elected more than four years ago. His disapproval rating is at 39%.

But if there’s one statistic in the poll that could raise alarms for DeSantis as he continues to travel outside the state to gain national attention, it’s with female voters.

When asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of Ron DeSantis’s job performance as governor?” the gender gap shows.

The results show that 53% of women voters approve of the governor’s job performance and 44% disapprove.

Compare that to male voters: 65 percent of men surveyed approve DeSantis’ job performance and only 34% disapprove.

As to issues of race and the governor’s job performance, DeSantis is getting solid support from Hispanic voters as he did in last year’s reelection.  He gets 56% approval from those voters, and 39% disapproval.

In the survey of only Republican voters in Florida, voters were asked: If the 2024 Republican primary election for president were held today, would you vote for …

The answer is: DeSantis leads Trump straight up, 44%-39%. Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley gets 3%. Two percent of those surveyed said they preferred someone else while 12 percent said that they were undecided.

President Joe Biden speaks about his fiscal 2024 budget request on Thursday, March 9 at Finishing Trades Institute in Philadelphia. (Screenshot from White House feed).

Meanwhile, President Biden’s approval rating has slipped in Florida to just 35% approval and 60% disapproving.

However, women voters are more supportive of the president than the overall population, with 41% approving of Biden’s performance, and 53% disapproving. Meanwhile, only 29% of male voters approve of Biden, while 68% disapprove.

The highest approval numbers for Biden in the state is in Southeast Florida, where 46% approve and 48% disapprove of his performance. As to race related to the president’s performance in Florida, 78% of black voters approve of Biden, and 39% of Hispanic voters approve of the president. But only 26 percent of white voters approved of Biden’s performance.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.

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