A majority of Floridians approve of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the Sunshine State, a UNF poll released on Monday revealed.
The poll, conducted by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida (UNF) March 31, 2020 through April 4, 2020, found that 51 percent of the 3,244 surveyed registered voters in the state approve of DeSantis’s grip on the outbreak thus far.
Forty-six percent disapprove, and four percent indicated that they do not yet know how they feel about the governor’s response. The survey also showed a majority, 55 percent, of respondents trusting the Florida governor to provide accurate information on the virus, with 41 percent not trusting him. The margin of error is +/- 1.7 percent.
The majority approval for DeSantis follows contentious weeks of critiques against the governor, whose critics say he waited too long to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.
From the onset, DeSantis advocated a more measured, “surgical” approach to the pandemic threatening the state, leaving more aggressive measures to local officials. All the while, DeSantis took aggressive action against travelers from coronavirus hotspots, requiring a 14-day quarantine for those fleeing New York and Louisiana.
DeSantis eventually announced the addition of checkpoints along the Florida-Alabama and Florida-Georgia state lines, as well as screenings for travelers coming from those hotspots at major Florida airports. Authorities successfully stopped a New York man who had tested positive for the coronavirus at the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) last month as a result of the measures.
DeSantis signed a statewide stay-at-home order last week “directing all Floridians to limit movements and personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or to conduct essential activities.”