Most Floridians critical of Governor DeSantis’ handling of COVID-19

Spectrum News/Ipsos poll reveals that less than half feel safe with current level of re-opening in Florida

The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sara Machi Research Analyst, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, October 21, 2020 –  A new Spectrum News/Ipsos polls conducted in Florida explores gubernatorial approval, sentiments toward COVID-19, voting behavior, and more. 

Detailed Findings

While Gov. Ron DeSantis’ overall job performance is relatively split, most Floridians feel negative toward his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and sending kids back to school.

  • Overall, 42% approve, and 46% disapprove. DeSantis’ approval rating is slightly higher in the Orlando and Tampa media markets, at 47% each.
  • A majority disapprove of the way DeSantis is handling COVID-19 (52%) and his plans for sending children back to school (52%).
  • More than half (56%) cite COVID-19 as the main problem facing the state. Around one in ten (11%) say education; however, slightly more in the Orlando media market cite this as the main problem (15%).

Most report concerns around reopening. People are split on whether the data around COVID-19 in the state is accurate.

  • Fewer than half (44%) feel safe with the current level of re-opening in Florida. An equal number are comfortable dining inside a restaurant, and just 32% feel comfortable visiting a theme park in the next three months – though slightly more in Orlando are comfortable with the latter (38%).
  • Forty-one percent believe Florida’s reporting on the number of cases and deaths has been accurate, while 45% disagree
  • Two-thirds (67%) agree there should be a state law mandating wearing masks at all times in public. People in the Orlando and Tampa media markets are in line with the state average (67% and 65% agree, respectively), but those in the Miami metro area are even more in favor of this policy (76%).

A majority are concerned about the possibility of mail-in voting fraud this election, but regardless, they are likely to trust the outcome of the presidential election.

  • Overall, 53% are concerned about mail ballot fraud. Concerns are slightly more elevated in the Orlando (60%) and Tampa (58%) markets.
  • At the statewide level, there is a significant gap in concerns by party ID, with Republicans much more concerned than Democrats (72% vs. 42%, respectively).
  • Regarding the president himself, 51% feel less favorable toward President Donald Trump due to his performance in the first presidential debate, and 53% feel less favorable due to his public comments around mask wearing and social distancing.
  • Fifteen percent of Floridians have already cast their ballots in the presidential election, including a quarter (23%) of people over age 55.

About the Study   

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 7-15, 2020, on behalf of Spectrum News. For this survey, a sample of 1,800 adults age 18+ from Florida was interviewed online in English. The sample includes an oversample of 400 respondents in the Orlando media market, for a total of 620 interviews in that market, and an oversample of 400 in the Tampa media market, for a total of 604 interviews in that market.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the population of Florida using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,800, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-4.1 percentage points).

The poll also has a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points for respondents in both the Orlando and Tampa media markets.

For more information on this news release, please contact: 

Chris Jackson 
Senior Vice President, US   
Public Affairs   
+1 202 420-2025   
[email protected]     

Mallory Newall 
Director, US   
Public Affairs   
+1 202 420-2014   
[email protected]     

Kate Silverstein 
Media Relations Specialist, US   
Public Affairs   
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected] 

About Ipsos   

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.   

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.   

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).    ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP          


The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sara Machi Research Analyst, Public Affairs