Who doesn’t like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis? By the standards of contemporary politics, pretty much no one, a poll released last week suggested.
A survey of 800 likely Florida voters conducted by Pulse Opinion Research for Term Limits, DeSantis has a 64 percent statewide favorable rating. Only 24 percent of the voters polled gave DeSantis an unfavorable rating.
On a partisan basis, the governor was rated favorable by 85 percent of his fellow Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 46 percent of Democrats. That last number is particularly noteworthy, given the DeSantis’ slim margin of victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum in the 2018 gubernatorial race. Many Democrats, and not a few other observers, question whether DeSantis owes his electoral victory to the fact that thousands of ballots weren’t counted because county election officials said they were improperly cast.
So far, DeSantis has trod a centrist path since moving into the governor’s mansion. About the only action of the governor that has drawn criticism was his decision to name three new justices to the Florida Supreme Court recommended to him by the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission. Despite this, 40 percent of the black voters PORTL surveyed gave DeSantis a favorable rating, no mean feat for pretty much any Republican.
Whether the current wave of popularity guarantees DeSantis political success remains to be seen. The man he succeeded as Florida’s chief executive, Republican Rick Scott, was much more controversial and combative with the media. That didn’t stop Scott from being elected governor twice and winning a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2018. Also keep in mind the notion that in the world of politics, a week can be a lifetime, and what’s good one day can head south the next.