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Poll: Florida voters divided on Gov. DeSantis' COVID-19 response

It's not just the present issues DeSantis is facing that Florida voters are split on. It's the governor's future political ambitions as well.

FLORIDA, USA — With Florida seeing its worst wave of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, a new poll shows voters in the state have mixed feelings about Gov. Ron DeSantis' response to the pandemic.

The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, shows a little more than half of voters (51 percent) disapprove of the governor's handling of the coronavirus pandemic response - 46 percent approved. 

However, despite that split, it's an improvement to a similar poll released in July 2020. At that time, 57 percent of voters disapproved of DeSantis' response.

RELATED: Judge set to make decision in lawsuit challenging DeSantis' ban on school mask mandates

"Amid a frightening surge in cases, DeSantis weathers withering criticism from critics on his handling of COVID-19. His numbers have actually improved from a year ago. But he's still not as popular as he was before the pandemic," said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.

As the governor battles with school districts over mask mandates, 44 percent of voters approved of his handling of schools. 

Overall, 47 percent of voters approved of DeSantis' performance as governor. Last year, only 41 percent approved.

But, it's not just the present issues DeSantis is facing that Florida voters are split on. It's the governor's future political ambitions as well.

DeSantis is up for reelection in 2022, and 48 percent of voters say he deserves to serve another term. Forty-five percent of voters said he didn't. 

The margin widens when it comes to a possible presidential run in 2024. That's where 59 percent of voters say they would not like to see DeSantis run for president 

"Do Florida voters want to send DeSantis back to Tallahassee? It's a tossup. But 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is, for now, just not in the cards," Malloy added.

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