ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis' stay-at-home order is scheduled to expire at the end of April, but a new Quinnipiac poll conducted earlier this month shows that the overwhelming majority of Floridians want to maintain the current lockdown.
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The Quinnipiac University poll, which surveyed 1,385 self-identified registered voters from April 16-20, shows that by a 72 percent to 22 percent margin participants favored elected officials not loosening social distancing rules at the end of this month.
The poll also shows that while a majority in the state say that they rely on public health officials to give them the most accurate information about the novel coronavirus which has spread globally, Republicans are split, with virtually half of them saying that they rely mostly on President Trump to provide the best information about the pandemic.
The poll shows that 62 percent of voters say they rely on public health officials most to get accurate information about the coronavirus. Just 18 percent say they rely on President Trump. Another eight percent say Gov. Ron DeSantis, and four percent say they rely on their mayor.
“Voters make it very clear they want guidance on navigating the crisis not from the White House or the State House in Tallahassee, but from public health officials,” said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy.
However, among self-identified Republicans it’s a near split, with 39 percent relying mostly on public health officials and 37 percent relying mostly on Trump.
That’s compared to nearly 8 out of 10 Democrats (79 percent) who say they rely mostly on the medical experts, and two out of three independents (66 percent) who say the same.
The survey comes as a task force convened by DeSantis is set to give him recommendations at the end of this week on opening up the state’s tourism and hospitality industries.
A majority of Floridians support how the governor is handling the crisis, with 50 percent showing approval and 41 percent disapproving. Still, more than six out of ten voters (61 percent) say he could have responded sooner to the outbreak.
DeSantis declared a stay at home order three weeks ago, on April 1. That was after 33 states had already asked most of their residents to essentially stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
President Trump is underwater in the survey, with 46 percent approving and 51 percent disapproving.
The survey had a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.