Florida Going ‘in the Right Direction,’ Say Majority of Hispanic Voters

A majority of Florida voters believe their state is headed in the right direction and that Gov. Ron DeSantis deserves re-election, a poll released Friday by the state Chamber of Commerce indicated.

The survey data indicates that 48% of respondents believe Florida is “headed in the right direction,” compared to 42% who believe the opposite is true.

In addition, the margin of difference is much greater among Hispanic voters. The poll results indicated that 57% of Hispanics believe Florida is going in the right direction, versus 31% who believe it is going in the “wrong direction,” a margin of 26 points.

Meanwhile, the majority of those who approve of DeSantis’ stewardship of Florida are men, while women tend to have the opposite opinion.

Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson stressed the need to keep the momentum going and stay on track. “As we just addressed Florida’s future at our Florida Chamber Foundation Annual Meeting and Florida Future Forum, there is no better time to unite the business community for good and ensure the right things continue to happen.”

On the economy, the survey highlights that a huge majority (92%) of respondents expressed confidence in local businesses and approve of the state’s business community’s efforts to “balance protective measures” with the need to maintain a strong economy during the health crisis.

Chamber of Commerce data indicates that Florida has outperformed the nation in terms of job creation. According to its report, the efforts of DeSantis, the state legislature, and the business community resulted in more than 1 million jobs created since March.

In the same vein, the Chamber indicated that 84,000 of the 192,000 jobs created nationally last month were generated in Florida.

However, the entity notes in its report that, with nearly 1,000 new Americans moving to Florida every day, the state still needs to create nearly 2 million jobs by 2030.

Floridians strongly approve of the ongoing efforts of Visit Florida, a non-profit corporation created as a public-private partnership by the state Legislature in 1996, as an important part of the recovery of Florida’s tourism industry.

Voter support polled for Visit Florida’s programs shows a 2-to-1 margin and crosses party lines, with a majority of Republicans, Democrats, and independents in agreement on this issue.

DeSantis leads gubernatorial race

The poll data also translates into electoral support for DeSantis heading into the next election, set for 2022.

The Florida Chamber poll found that DeSantis has a 7% lead over Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist, who was elected governor of Florida between 2007 and 2011 while still part of the Republican Party, and a 9% lead over Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat.

The Chamber also noted that, according to its data, the voter registration gap between Republicans and Democrats has narrowed to 12,039 registered voters, representing the lowest gap in modern history. In addition, in 2021, new independent registrations have surpassed voter registrations for either party historically.

“Keeping Florida being Florida means electing the right people,” said House Policy Council Chair Tracy Duda Chapman. “In 2022, all 160 members of the state Legislature will be up for election, and the Florida Chamber Political Institute is recruiting pro-business candidates who want to keep Florida’s economic momentum. The governor and cabinet are also on the ballot and we expect to be very engaged in these races.”

The survey was conducted Oct. 17-25 and polled 608 likely voters by telephone, including 246 Democrats, 254 Republicans, and 108 independents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent

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