ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) —Gov. Ron DeSantis has seen his approval rating drop during the coronavirus outbreak while a number of other governors have seen their ratings soar.
Political statistics website FiveThirtyEight compiled a list of the approval ratings of 15 Florida governors. Compared to their approval ratings at the end of 2019, every governor saw a double digit increase, except for DeSantis.
DeSantis has seen his approval rating drop from where it was at the beginning of the year, according to FiveThirtyEight.
For its research, FiveThirtyEight used Morning Consult ratings from the end of last year and a University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab poll that surveyed Florida voters in late March and early April.
In February, 61% of registered voters questioned by UNF approved of the job DeSantis was doing. Only 9% strongly disapproved.
But when it comes to his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak only 51% approve and 30 percent strongly disapprove of the job he’s doing.
DeSantis has been criticized for failing to close down Florida’s beaches during spring break and for waiting until April to issue a stay-at-home order.
He’s also received criticism over the state’s overwhelmed unemployment system.
Furloughed and laid-off workers have reported hourslong waits on the phone and entire days stuck in loops on a clogged website.
DeSantis still has time, before the next election and if the virus’ impact on Florida ends up being less than feared, University of Central Florida political science expert Aubrey Jewett said DeSantis could weather it fine.
But it could also go the other way.
“If we have a long time to get back to economic health, if a lot of people need unemployment and can’t even get on the website, his numbers will start to sink even much more than they are now. He’ll look back at the 51% and say boy those were the days,” Jewett said.