Aug 15, 2022 - Politics

Florida swing voters view Ron DeSantis as too extreme

Photo illustration of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with lines radiating from him.
Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Florida swing voters who former President Donald Trump won over in 2016 say Gov. Ron DeSantis' agenda is too extreme for them.

Driving the news: Axios partner Engagious/Schlesinger conducted two online focus groups last week with 12 Floridians who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, then Joe Biden in 2020.

  • One is registered as a Republican, four as independents, and seven as Democrats.

Of note: While a focus group is not a statistically significant sample like a poll, the responses show how some voters are thinking and talking about current events.

The big picture: Some regretted voting for Biden — citing what they called a lack of action and unkept promises— and several said he makes them feel bored, hopeless and apathetic, but none would take Trump back.

  • No one in the group wanted DeSantis as president, saying he was more extreme than Trump.

Some called his actions, like ending Disney's self-governing status and removing Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren from office, power plays to appeal to Trump voters.

What they're saying: "He's trying to be like, like the God of Florida instead of being the governor of Florida," one respondent said.

Zoom in: None of the respondents supported Florida's Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbed by critics as "Don't Say Gay," or the Stop WOKE Act.

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