DeSantis doing better than Trump in handling coronavirus crisis, Florida poll shows

DeSantis doing better than Trump in handling coronavirus crisis, Florida poll shows

Although Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken his cues in handling the state’s response to the corornavirus directly from the president, a narrow majority of Florida voters approve of the job he is doing, while most disapprove of the way President Donald Trump is handling the crisis, according to a new poll by the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab. The poll of 3,244 registered Florida voters taken last week found the decision by both DeSantis and Trump to refrain from imposing strict sanctions on public gatherings until last week — in order to keep businesses operating — may have cost them politically, the poll shows. Pollsters found that 57% of respondents believed the state has not gone far enough to contain the spread of the virus, while 55% said the federal government has not gone far enough. Only 43% were critical of their local governments for failing to respond. The poll, administered by online survey, was conducted Tuesday, March 31 through Saturday, April 4. Only 45% strongly or somewhat approve of the job Trump is doing to address the pandemic, with 53% disapproving. By contrast, a narrow majority, 51%, approve of the job DeSantis is doing while 46% disapprove. DeSantis’ decision to defer to mayors in the state’s hardest hit cities, allowing them to impose more aggressive limitations on social distancing, such as stay-home orders, has resulted in them being perceived as more responsive leaders in the crisis, the survey found. “Relative to Trump and DeSantis’ support, mayors and local government have filled the leadership void and been rewarded with high levels of support,” said Michael Binder, director of the university’s Public Opinion Research Lab. Of the cities surveyed, Jane Castor, the mayor of Tampa and a Democrat, had the largest approval rating for her handling of […]

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