The Corner

Politics & Policy

Good News! Only 21 Percent of Floridians Approve of Matt Gaetz

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., February 26, 2022. (Octavio Jones/Reuters)

One of the key reasons that Republicans have done so well in Florida in recent years is that their state party has remained sane and competent. Sure, there are a few outlandish figures in our politics, but, by and large, the GOP has avoided the sort of complacency and stupidity that we’ve seen in states such as Arizona. And, if this poll is to be believed, there is no reason to think that this trend is coming to a close:

A new poll shows U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz is a polarizing figure in Florida, both in and outside of the Republican Party.

poll from the Florida Atlantic University Mainstreet PolCom Lab released last week showed that 57% of Florida voters disapproved of Gaetz’s performance as a member of Congress. . . .

The poll said only 21% of voters approved of Gaetz’s performance, while 8% were neutral and 14% didn’t know.

While Gaetz has repeatedly proven he is unbeatable in the Panhandle, the poll shows that in a statewide race, Gaetz would have a lot of work to do to win people over — not just with independents, but his own party too.

It may not be surprising that 82.9% of Democrats disapprove of Gaetz, but the poll says Republicans are divided about Gaetz, with 36.3% of Republicans who disapprove and 36.6% of Republicans who approve.

Gaetz insists that he does not intend to run for statewide office, but, in one sense, that’s beside the point. Before a state party can go crazy, a state’s voters have to go crazy, and, by rejecting Gaetz’s antics as they apparently have, Floridians are showing that they have not yet gone crazy. That, of course, can change fast. But it’s encouraging nevertheless.

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