Florida voters seem to like what they see in their new governor, and so does the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.
The first poll of voters asking them what they thought of the job performance of Gov. Ron DeSantis after his first week on the job was released Thursday..
The chairman of the state Republican Party says the Mason-Dixon survey confirms what was already obvious — DeSantis is off to a strong start as governor.
“It is no surprise that Governor DeSantis’ recent Mason-Dixon polls are favorable,” says RPOF Chair Joe Gruters, who also serves in the Florida Senate.
“He campaigned on a myriad of issues that he promised to tackle head on, such as Florida’s environment, appointing Supreme Court Justices that will uphold our Constitution, and clamping down on incompetence and corruption,” Gruters added.
DeSantis took office on Jan. 8.
The poll of 625 registered state voters conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy between Jan. 14 and Jan. 17 shows DeSantis has the best job performance ratings of any statewide elected Republican — better than U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, and better than President Donald Trump.
It shows 48 percent of respondents viewed him favorably, compared to 17 percent who didn’t. Thirty-one percent were neutral about the new governor. DeSantis’ favorable rating was up nine percentage points since the election.
Even among registered Democrats his unfavorable rating was low. Just 40 percent of Democrats thought DeSantis was doing an unfavorable job, while 40 percent were neutral and 16 percent rated him favorable.
“DeSantis walks the walk and is dedicated to making good on keeping Florida great. Like President Trump, DeSantis is a man of action; he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty in order to achieve positive results for the people of Florida,” said Gruters. “His bi-partisan support is an indication that all Floridians will benefit greatly from his commitment to a better Sunshine State.”
“Voters like that he’s getting the job done,” Gruters said.
Deantis is off to an impressive start in his first three weeks on the job. In the first week alone he made the first of his three Florida Supreme Court appointments that have transformed the high court into a more conservative bench.
He also unveiled a new environmental policy to restore the Everglades and protect the state’s water supply and he twice visited the Panhandle area devastated by Hurricane Michael to let residents there know the state hasn’t forgotten them as they struggle to rebuild their communities and their lives.
He and members of the Florida Cabinet, sitting as the state’s Clemency Board, also posthumously granted pardons to four Lake County men, known as the Groveland Four, who were wrongly accused of raping a white woman in the 1940’s.
And he suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for the way his agency responded to the school shootings in Parkland last February.
Rubio was a close second to DeSantis in the survey with 44 percent of the voters giving him favorable marks with 23 percent viewing him unfavorably and 32 percent neutral.
Scott and Trump didn’t do as well in the survey. Both received favorable ratings of just 42 percent, while 38 percent found Scott unfavorable and 45 percent found Trump unfavorable.
The poll also asked voters in a hypothetical 2020 re-election matchup in Florida between the president and a Democrat, Trump would essentially be in a dead heat, holding a slim 46-45 edge, well within the poll’s margin of error.