DeSantis is failing Florida on COVID-19. New polling shows Floridians know it

DeSantis is failing Florida on COVID-19. New polling shows Floridians know it
Ron DeSantis speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Gage Skidmore

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' crusade against masking and other pandemic mitigation efforts isn't playing well for him among Floridians, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

The fact that 60% of Floridians support in-school masking, according to the poll, is nothing short of an indictment of DeSantis' failing leadership as his state suffers its most deadly period in the pandemic.

  • By 61% - 33%, Floridians say the recent spike in COVID-19 cases was preventable
  • 73% of Floridians currently view the surge as a serious problem
  • 59% say the pandemic's spread is out of control in the state

The public also broadly disagrees with the policies DeSantis has been pushing for months—policies that endanger their lives, including those of their children.

  • 68% say local officials should be able to require masks in indoor public spaces
  • 69% say it's a bad idea to withhold pay for school officials who vote to require masking (which the DeSantis administration is currently in the process of doing), while just 25% support it
  • 59% support requiring everyone to wear masks while in indoor public spaces
  • 63% say masking is primarily a public health issue, with just 33% saying it's more about personal freedom
  • 62% say health care workers should be required to get vaccinated, just 33% oppose it
  • 60% favor vaccine mandates for teachers, just 36% oppose them

The poll also found that DeSantis was underwater regarding whether residents think he is helping the situation or making it worse.

While 41 percent say that Governor Ron DeSantis is helping efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Florida, 46 percent say he is hurting efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Twelve percent did not offer an opinion.

DeSantis picked a fight on masking—choosing to champion the fringe 'personal freedom' crowd over the lives of children. He is now facing a massive revolt among Florida schools and, the polling suggests, a loss of confidence among the electorate.

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