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A new poll indicates culture war issues pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis this year aren't popular with Floridians, but they are more concerned about cost-of-living concerns and the economy.
The survey by Florida Atlantic University found that 67% of respondents — including most Republicans — believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases.
DeSantis recently signed legislation outlawing abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, shifting the cutoff from 24 weeks. And a Leon County last month approved a 24-hour waiting period for abortions in Florida following a lengthy court battle.
The poll also found that 43% of respondents oppose banning instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity for younger students, legislation signed by DeSantis that critics have dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" law. It is supported by 37% of voters, while 20% didn't have an opinion.
DeSantis leaned into culture war issue this year. While his approach has thrilled many conservatives, the FAU poll indicates his approach isn't broadly popular.
FAU political science professor Kevin Wagner noted that abortion is not a top priority for many Floridians, though.
"It is not clear this issue will drive voting as abortion was only ranked as a high priority issue by 39 percent of Floridians,” Wagner said.
The abortion issue has gained increased attention in the wake of a leaked U.S. Supreme Court ruling that shows a majority of justices are poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Anti-abortion activists are pushing Florida lawmakers to consider further restrictions on abortion. DeSantis has said he supports banning abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
The debate around the "Don't Say Gay" law gained national attention and sparked a feud between DeSantis and Disney, whose CEO criticized it, prompting DeSantis to push legislation punishing the company.
Many voters may not be thinking about social issues when they cast a ballot in November, though.
The poll found that 84% of Floridians consider inflation and cost-of-living issues a high priority, ranking above abortion, COVID-19, education and immigration.
Inflation is "greatly" impacting the finances of 53% of Floridians, according to the survey, and another 38% said they are "somewhat" impacted. A large majority of people said they are cutting back on food and grocery items and travel.
Notably, 55% of Floridians said they are "very concerned" about the increasing cost of homeowner's insurance and another 36% said they are concerned or slightly concerned.
Relief for homeowners?: Florida lawmakers deliver home insurance reforms sought by DeSantis. Will they work?
DeSantis pushed for a property insurance reform bill that was approved by the Legislature this week. The solution lawmakers came up with is a bill that the Senate sponsor said is more focused on stabilizing struggling insurers than delivering immediate rate relief.
The online survey of 532 individuals was conducted from May 20-22. It has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.
Follow Herald-Tribune Political Editor Zac Anderson on Twitter at @zacjanderson. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Poll finds culture war issues pushed by Ron DeSantis aren't popular