Gov. Ron DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis, and two of their children at DeSantis’ second inauguration as Florida Governor on Jan. 3, 2023. Credit: Danielle J. Brown
Florida women don’t find Gov. Ron DeSantis all that appealing, according to a public opinion poll suggesting that only 34% of them strongly approve of his performance in office. In contrast, 48.9% of men strongly approved of the governor, who is now a presidential candidate.
Adding up the categories of “strongly approve” and “somewhat approve” in the poll, 49.6% percent women approved DeSantis’ performance in office, but men showed a higher rating —58.9% — for the governor.
The findings suggest DeSantis’ hard line on abortion access, having signed into law a 15-week abortion ban last year and a six-week ban this year, is hurting him among women.
The telephone survey of 933 adults aged 18 or older was conducted by Florida Atlantic University Mainstreet PolCom Lab between June 27 and July 1, with a margin for error of plus or minus 3.2 percent. The poll breaks out findings for 29 respondents identifying as nonbinary, and only 32.2% of them strongly approved of DeSantis. In fact, 44 percent of the nonbinary group disapproved of DeSantis’ performance, reflecting the governor’s legislative campaign against the LGBTQ community.
Meanwhile, the survey found that DeSantis would carry Florida in a general election against President Biden, 49% to 36%.
DeSantis’ potential victory would be led mostly by men, with 54.5% males, compared to 44.2% females, according to the poll.
Overall, Republicans easily favor Trump over DeSantis in the GOP primary, 50% against 30 percent for the governor.
The other Republican contenders land with single digits with 7% undecided.
A question about the respondents’ feelings about the DeSantis vs. Disney dispute produced a near tie, with 35% strongly supporting and 1% somewhat supporting him.
Of those who strongly supported DeSantis on the Disney issue, 42.7% were men, compared to 28.3% for women, according to the poll.
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