PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Since he was elected in 2018, Gov. Ron DeSantis has been riding high in the polls. But his approval rating has plummeted in the wake of his executive order forbidding school districts from mandating masks for students to protect against COVID-19.
In a new Data for Progress poll, nearly three out of four Floridians say kids should wear masks to school.
Students and staff in Miami-Dade and Broward public schools are required to wear masks, despite the governor’s executive order and a state law saying parents should have the final word.
In the new poll, 73% say masks should be worn in schools while 25% disagree.
“Public opinion as school started to near and as it started, to me, people realized that it was good public policy to have masks in schools,” said Sean Foreman, a political science professor at Barry University.
As COVID-19 deaths have risen — passing the grim milestone of 50,000 in Florida this week — DeSantis’ approval rate has fallen.
The Data for Progress polling also finds that 52% of those asked disapprove of DeSantis’ performance as governor while 45% approve.
A Quinnipiac University poll from late August found that 59% of registered Florida voters opposed a DeSantis presidential run.
That poll found that 47% approved of DeSantis’ performance overall, with 45% disapproving.
“DeSantis has really been strong and consistent in his views,” Foreman said. “And they were popular in the summer but they seem to be waning now.”