Unpopular policies could pose issue for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in general election
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may face tough prospects in the 2024 general election even if he won the Republican presidential nomination due to the unpopularity of some of his signature policies, a new Yahoo/YouGov poll finds.
Americans oppose seven of eight of the policy initiatives DeSantis spearheaded in Florida, including the six-week abortion ban and prohibiting public colleges and universities from funding programs that promote equity and inclusion, according to the poll.
The survey of 1,582 adults, taken March 16-20 online has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7%.
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Americans oppose most policies pushed by DeSantis, according to poll
Abortion: Fifty percent of those surveyed said they oppose DeSantis’s six-week abortion ban, which only provides exceptions for victims of rape and incest if they can provide official documentation of the crime. Only 34% said they favor the policy while 16% said they weren’t sure.
DEI programs: Forty-eight percent said they oppose banning public colleges and universities from funding programs that promote diversity and inclusion compared to 32% who favor it. Twenty percent said they were unsure.
Firearms: Two-thirds of respondents said they oppose allowing people to carry concealed firearms without a license or safety training while 22% were in support and 11% were unsure.
Higher ed: Forty-three percent don’t support DeSantis’ proposal to ban majors and minors in critical race theory, gender studies or intersectionality at public colleges and universities while 35% said they do. Twenty-two percent of respondents were unsure.
Books in schools: Almost half (44%) said they oppose requiring books for students in public schools to be reviewed for content the government considers inappropriate compared to 36% who support the proposal.
COVID-19: Forty-six percent oppose a permanent ban on schools and businesses from imposing COVID-19 mask or vaccine requirements. Thirty-five percent said they are in favor of the proposal.
Tenured faculty: More than half (55%) said they oppose DeSantis’ proposal to grant political appointees unilateral power to fire tenured faculty members at public colleges and universities. While 21% support the initiative, it’s the lowest favorable rating among the seven policies.
DeSantis' effort to ban transgender female students from competing on women's and girls' sports teams, instead requiring athletes to compete according to the sex they were assigned at birth, was the one policy deemed favorable, the poll finds.
Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said they favor the initiative while only 31% oppose it. Seventeen percent said they weren’t sure. Of registered voters, 57% said they supported the policy compared to 30% who said they didn’t.
DeSantis at odds with Americans on Ukraine, according to poll
DeSantis’ stances on foreign policy could also pose an issue on his potential road to the White House, according to the poll.
The Florida governor issued a statement last week saying that U.S. support for Ukraine as it fends off Russia’s invasion is not a vital interest for the United States, referring to the conflict as a “territorial dispute.”
Russia's invasion of Ukraine: Ron DeSantis position on Ukraine different from presidential hopefuls in Republican Party
While DeSantis shares a similar position as former President Donald Trump, it’s a break from the rest of the Republican party and most Americans.
Nearly half (49%) of respondents said they believe it’s in the country’s best interests to help Ukraine stop Russia while 32% said it was none of the country’s business.
The survey also found that 56% said the conflict was best described as an “invasion of Ukraine by Russia” compared to 30% who said it was a territorial dispute between the two countries.
However, when asked whether they agreed or disagreed with DeSantis’ statement that “while the U.S. has many vital national interests … becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” 44% either strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement while 38% strongly or somewhat disagreed.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: DeSantis at odds with public over policies amid possible 2024 run