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Gov. DeSantis better liked than president who backed him

President Donald Trump remains a divisive figure in Florida

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis during a rally July 31in Tampa. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis during a rally July 31in Tampa. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new poll finds new Gov. Ron DeSantis' stock has risen since he was elected three months ago, but President Donald Trump, who won election in 2016 with the help of Florida voters, is only favored for re-election by 45 percent of those likely to vote in 2020.

A Mason-Dixon poll conducted last week found that only 47 percent of Florida voters approve of Trump's job performance as president, while 50 percent disapprove and 3 percent are undecided.

Trump continues to divide voters along party lines, with 87 percent of Republicans approving and 92 percent of Democrats disapproving of his performance. Likewise, a clear gender gap is apparent with Trump’s job performance approved of by 53 percent of men and disapproved of by 55 percent of women.

The poll found that 46 percent said they would vote to replace Trump with a Democrat in the 2020 election, while 45 percent said they would vote to re-elect him. The remaining 9 percent were not sure how they'd vote.

On the other hand, after winning a narrow victory in a bruising election, DeSantis has managed to use his first weeks in office to increase his popularity. Statewide, DeSantis is viewed favorably by 48 percent of Florida voters -- higher than other statewide elected Republican officeholders: Sen. Marco Rubio (44 percent) and Rick Scott (42 percent).

DeSantis’ favorable rating is up 9 points since his election and his unfavorable rating has been cut in half, from 34 percent to 17 percent.

This poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy Inc. of Jacksonville from Jan. 14-17. A total of 625 registered Florida voters were interviewed statewide by telephone. 


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