JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new poll from the University of North Florida found a majority of Floridians are against a 15-week abortion ban and restricting conversations about LGBTQ issues in schools.
Both are GOP priorities moving in the State Capitol this year.
Only 31 percent of Floridians support a 15-week abortion ban with no exceptions for rape and incest according to a new UNF poll.
UNF Political scientist Michael Binder helped conduct the poll. He said even though 60 percent oppose the policy, it’s no surprise Republicans are pushing the issue.
“Republicans however are much more supportive of this issue. 57 percent support it, or even when you indicate that rape and incest there’s no allowance for it, that drops down to 51 percent. Still above 50 percent,” said Binder.
It’s a top issue for voter Ricky Buckley.
“When it comes to abortion, I’m pro-life period,” said Buckley.
The poll also found voters oppose restricting conversations about LGBTQ issues in K-5 schools by a 49 to 40 margin. But again, 54 percent of Republicans support the idea.
“And that can give you a clue as to why this is happening in Tallahassee. Their base is behind it,” said Binder.
Jacksonville voter Jill Gardner said it’s an issue she was considering as she cast her ballot Tuesday.
“The schools and talking about not saying gay or whatever in schools. I think there needs to be a lot more talk on that,” said Gardner.
Binder was most shocked to find a whopping 76 percent of Floridians support legalizing recreational marijuana.
“That is very different than what we have seen. Heck Republicans even support this at 64 percent,” said Binder.
Conservative-leaning voter Ann Wright told us legalization is a subject she’s come to support.
“I don’t know that it’s realistic to keep it restricted too much anymore,” said Wright.
Even with the poll results, Binder predicts Republican’s prospects in November appear promising.
“The state is trending red. You know for the first time Republicans outnumber Democrats in registration and things probably look pretty good for DeSantis in November,” said Binder.
But he did note marijuana could be a swing issue in heavily contested elections.
“How many statewide Democrats have been elected in this state in a long time? You know, Nikki Fried is the only one right now and she ran exclusively on the marijuana issue. Absolutely that helped propel her over the top in a very tight race,” said Binder.
And Binder said both parties are likely to lean on these social issues to inspire high turnout in the upcoming elections.
“That’s the one thing to always keep in mind. Fear is a fantastic motivator to get people to go and vote,” said Binder.
But he said it’s unlikely the hot button issues will sway voters from one party to another in any significant way.
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