Poll: Majorities oppose Ron DeSantis-backed ‘Stop WOKE’ and parental rights laws

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A majority of Florida voters disapprove of two key pieces of legislation on social issues backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to a new survey.

Released Monday, the fresh Spectrum News/Siena College Poll shows 50% of respondents oppose the “Parental Rights in Education” measure, which critics have pejoratively called the “Don’t Say Gay” law. Just 44% of respondents approve of the legislation.

The Parental Rights law bans classroom “instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity” for students in kindergarten through third grade, or “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

The “Stop WOKE” Act, which is still being litigated in the courts, prohibits the teaching of so-called critical race theory in K-12 classrooms and workplaces. Similarly, it is a political loser, with 51% disapproval against just 34% approval.

Central to the unpopularity of both measures is a significant minority of Republicans. A full 28% of them disapprove of the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, showing that the negative branding of the legislation left an impression on these respondents. Meanwhile, a staggering 38% of Republicans disapprove of “Stop WOKE,” against just 48% approval.

The overall opprobrium against both these pieces of legislation extends to all age groups, except in one case. A majority of respondents between the ages of 50 and 64 back the Parental Rights in Education legislation, with 52% approval against just 37% disapproval. But otherwise, the measure is underwater among people of all ages.

The measures are also underwater with both White voters and Black voters. However, the Parental Rights in Education law is backed by a plurality of Latino voters, with 49% support against 46% disapproval.

The Spectrum News/Siena College poll of 669 likely voters was taken before Hurricane Ian, between Sept. 18 and Sept. 25. Republicans made up 34% of respondents, Democrats 33%, and Independent/Other 28%. The poll had a 4.5-point margin of error.

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