Gov. Ron DeSantis’ approval rating reached a new high at 59 percent, according to a poll conducted by the St. Leo University Polling Institute, a three-point increase from the last approval rating poll conducted last fall.
DeSantis’ rating received a boost after the governor took stances on topics like Critical Race Theory, parental rights, and child welfare, receiving support across the state and the nation at large.
The poll shows that more than half of respondents (59 percent) say they approve of the job Governor Ron DeSantis is doing, while 37 percent disapprove. 4 percent responded that they are unsure.
“Governor DeSantis is benefitting from a strong economy and a lack of COVID cases in the state over the past few months,” said Frank Orlando, director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute and political scientist. “While he gets lots of national attention for provoking the ire of liberals on things like masking, it doesn’t seem to hurt him in Florida, and in fact continues to raise his national profile.”
St. Leo asked respondents about how they would vote in potential matchups featuring DeSantis and Democratic gubernatorial challengers if the November 2022 election was held on the day they completed the survey.
In the case of DeSantis versus Charlie Crist: 49 percent selected DeSantis, 32 percent said they would vote for Crist, and 18 percent were unsure.
In the instance of DeSantis versus Nikki Fried, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, DeSantis was chosen by 51 percent of respondents while Fried was selected by 27 percent. 22 percent were unsure.
“As long as the governor’s approval ratings remain in the upper 50s [percentage], it’s hard to see him losing in 2022, which promises to be a strong year for Republicans nationwide,” said Orlando. “Due to increased name ID, it’s important to look at the percentage of respondents supporting the incumbent. Being close to 50 percent in all three of the races means that he is in a relatively powerful position moving forward, but we should expect tightening once the Dems pick their nominee.”
In a question regarding “notable and possible candidates” for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, former President Donald J. Trump and DeSantis topped the list among the Florida poll respondents at 64.3 percent and 55.5 percent, respectively.
The Saint Leo poll also posed a scenario in which Trump was not a candidate. Respondents overwhelmingly say they would choose DeSantis at 66 percent with former Vice President Mike Pence receiving the next highest percentage at 27 percent.