Friday, March 10, 2023


Charlie Sykes draws attention to a new poll from Florida:
Some good news and some bad news for Ron DeSantis in this new University of North Florida poll.

The good news is that he is personally quite popular. In a Republican primary, he wallops Donald Trump in the state 59-28.
To be specific, he beats Trump 59%-28% in a head-to-head matchup -- and beats Trump 52%-27% in a multi-candidate field that also includes Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Liz Cheney, Ted Cruz, Mike Pompeo, Tim Scott, Kristi Noem, and Chris Sununu (none of whom top 4%).

But as we learn from Dr. Michael Binder, the faculty director of the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab, major aspects of DeSantis's agenda aren't particularly popular with the state's voters overall -- and some aren't even popular with Republicans:
Sixty-one percent of Florida voters oppose proposals to ban state colleges and universities from teaching CRT or promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Despite elevated support among Republicans, many voters we spoke to are not so thrilled about some of DeSantis’s most recent proposals in his war on ‘woke’ culture, this time targeting Florida’s public colleges and universities with HB999 and SB266,” stated Binder....
An overwhelming majority of voters — 77 percent— also oppose a recent bill that would allow Floridians to carry a concealed weapon without a permit or license.
The majority of respondents were opposed across party affiliations, with 93% of Democrats opposed, 77% among Independents, and 62% among Republicans.

“Not only is there bipartisan opposition to this ‘constitutional carry’ bill, but folks seem to feel passionately about it with the majority (67%) saying they strongly oppose the bill,” commented Binder. “Even among Republicans, most people are against carrying weapons without a permit.”
And, on abortion, 75 percent of voters — including 61 percent of GOP voters — said they opposed legislation that would ban abortions after 6-weeks.
But it's incorrect to say that DeSantis is "personally very popular" in Florida. Among Republicans he is: 87% have a favorable opinion of him, including 79% whose opinion is "very favorable." But overall, his favorability is 50%-46%. The favorability of one of his "woke" enemies, the Walt Disney Company, is higher (52%-40%).

Yet in a 2024 head-to-head matchup, DeSantis beats Joe Biden 51%-42%. For that matter, Trump beats Biden 50%-43%.

Joe Biden supports abortion rights. Joe Biden opposes "constitutional carry." Joe Biden hasn't declared war on critical race theory or Walt Disney. In all these things, he seems to be more in sync with Floridians than the state's governor (or Trump).

But Biden's favorability numbers in Florida aren't so great -- 43%-53%. Only 16% of respondents have a "very favorable" opinion of Biden, while 42% have a "very unfavorable" opinion. (DeSantis's "very favorable" number is 37%, while his "very unfavorable" number is 38%. Respondents weren't asked about Trump.)

Florida seems to be a solidly red state now, but that doesn't seem to be based on policy. I wonder how many states there are where voters now seem to regard the GOP as the home team while Democrats seem like the enemy, even though, on issues, the voters aren't all that right-wing. Texas? Kansas? Iowa? Ohio? And how do Democrats challenge that? I really don't know.

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