Don’t buy into polls when it comes to DeSantis, he’s still popular in Florida

COMMON SENSE SAYS: Voters tend to have short memories. The election for Governor of Florida is more than a year away, and despite DeSantis’s incompetence, his poll number varies wildly. I don’t believe, for a second, that he is definitely going to lose the election, but he is vulnerable.

After Trump won the election to defeat Hillary, I stopped buying into polls even though the media likes to score every politician with poll numbers.

Here in Florida, the poll numbers on DeSantis vary wildly. A poll by Future Majority conducted among 1,585 likely Florida voters between August 14 and 17 found that DeSantis would defeat both Democrats in the race for governor. The survey showed DeSantis defeating Crist by 49 percent to 45 percent and beating Fried by 49 percent to 44 percent.

However, a poll from the Political Matrix/The Listener Group conducted between August 14 and 18 among 1,000 likely Florida voters found that DeSantis would lose in matchups against Crist and Fried. When respondents were asked who they would vote for if the election were held that day, 56.7 percent said they would vote for Crist compared to 43.3 percent who chose DeSantis.

What does this all mean? It means that despite some who predict DeSantis is sinking like a rock, the governor’s race is still wide open.

In the middle of a COVID crisis, DeSantis has left the state three times to raise money for a Presidential bid. He really believes he is destined for bigger things, and FOX news has appointed him the future leader of the Republican party.

DeSantis is a deeply flawed governor. His administration has not yet applied for up to $820 million in food assistance to more than 2 million Florida children, raising concerns from food assistance groups and others who note that child hunger remains a significant problem.

As COVID rages here in Florida, DeSantis has done everything he can to block local officials from implementing mask mandates, sparking a remarkable rebellion, with numerous school districts defying him. A quality poll from Quinnipiac University seeks to probe public opinion on the great mask debate in Florida in a lot of fine-grained detail. And the conclusion is clear: Anti-mask derangement is losing the argument. Badly.

  • A plurality of Florida residents believe DeSantis is hurting efforts to slow the spread of covid-19 in the state, 46 percent to 41 percent.
  • 73 percent think the spread of covid in the state is a serious problem, 59 percent say the spread is out of control, and 61 percent say it was preventable.
  • 60 percent support requiring students, teachers and staff to wear masks in schools, while only 36 percent oppose it. And by 54 percent to 44 percent, Floridians say schools, not parents, should make the decision on masks for kids.
  • 59 percent support requiring mask-wearing in indoor spaces, while only 39 percent oppose it.
  • 63 percent say the issue of wearing masks is primarily about public health, while only 33 percent say it’s about personal freedom. Meanwhile, 64 percent say they’re effective in slowing covid spread.
  • 68 percent say local officials should generally be able to require masks in indoor public spaces.

Some people see these numbers and then predict the demise of DeSantis’s political career. They’re wrong.

Voters have a concise memory. If the battle against the virus should subside and the economy, which is dependent on tourist dollars, bounce back, DeSantis will be in a strong position.

My favorite for governor is Nikki Fried, but I worry that the Republican “hit below the belt” army will mobilize against her. Even if she wins, she will have to deal with a Republican legislature that is sure to try and sink her Governorship.

We all need to keep up the fight against the right that endangers our children and us. There can’t be any letup, and we need to get in the trenches to fight mud with more mud.

Originally published at https://commonsenseandpolitics.com on August 25, 2021.

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