wjxt logo

Survey: Most Floridians were optimistic before recent spike in COVID-19 cases

File photo: A health care worker gather information from a person wishing to get a coronavirus test Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
File photo: A health care worker gather information from a person wishing to get a coronavirus test Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida set a new record for daily COVID-19 cases Friday, with 3,822 residents and nonresidents testing positive.

Despite the steadily rising case numbers, a new survey conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce shows Floridians by and large are optimistic about the future.

According to the survey, nearly six out of 10 Floridians approve of the governor’s handling of COVID-19. About the same believe the economy will improve within six months’ time, the survey shows.

That’s a good sign to Florida House Budget Chair Travis Cummings.

“The majority of folks seem to think that Florida’s doing a good job of the time that we shut dow, as well as kind of when we’re opening back up,” Cummings said.

David Hart, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber, said consumer confidence often becomes reality.

“If there’s an assumption that things are going to improve, it generally breeds that result,” Hart said.

Cases have been steadily rising since June 6 when the survey began, but the survey period ended just before the four-day streak of skyrocketing cases.

Democratic Rep. Adam Hattersley thinks if the survey were taken again, the results may be quite different.

“We hit 2,000 new cases in a day for the first time last week, late last week, and now all of a sudden we’re at 4,000 in a day, so we have to stay focused on the current data,” Hattersley said.

Republicans like Rep. James Grant aren’t surprised by the spike in cases.

Grant believes what’s more important is that hospitalizations and deaths have continued on a downward trend.

“The need to stay inside, the need to be diligent was to flatten the curve to make sure that we had the infrastructure to treat people in the health care system who needed it, and what we’ve seen here in Florida is that we have absolutely succeeded in doing that,” Grant said.

And despite the rapid increase in cases over the last four days, Gov. Ron DeSantis has no plans to shut down the economy again any time soon.

According to the survey, Republicans were far more likely to see the situation positively compared to Democrats.

The survey shows 85% of Republicans approved of the governor’s handling of the crisis compared to just 31% of Democrats.

The partisan break was similar on the six-month economic outlook.