Quite a catch by Politico's Marc Caputo, who notes well that this was a survey of Florida Democratic voters. Its fairly widely reported top line findings were that shameless political chameleon Charlie Crist -- who's run for statewide office as a Republican, Independent and Democrat -- leads the pack in his (latest) party's gubernatorial primary. Crist is ahead of Florida's Agriculture Commissioner and conspiratorial demagogue Nikki Fried by ten points, but both of them are losing handily to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who boasts a daunting war chest heading toward the general election:
FL GOV DEM PRIMARY POLL:— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) March 24, 2022
CASH ON HAND:
RCP 2022 FL GOV Average:
(R) DeSantis 50.4% (+8.8)
(D) Crist 41.6%
(R) DeSantis 52%
(D) Fried 39.2%https://t.co/uLzMFqkKI4
As you can see, DeSantis has an advantage of nine to 13 points over his potential challengers, which would certainly qualify as battleground state blowout territory. Other polling has also pointed to a major DeSantis lead. But what Caputo noticed was the lack of attention being paid to another result in this poll of Sunshine State Democrats:
Poll shows FL DEMOCRATIC primary voters support the GOP Legislature’s “Parental Rights”/LGBT education bill by 52-36%— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) March 24, 2022
FL Capitol Dems opposed it & made it a top messaging priority
(This is unmentioned for some reason in the story I QTd. This poll jibes w/others I’ve seen) https://t.co/6HBMz2MW4d pic.twitter.com/bfS9ulp58A
Florida Democrats, along with much of the media, bought into activists' 'Don't Say Gay' framing of this legislation, which has led to all sorts of protests and heated rhetoric. I've explained my concerns with the bill in a careful and non-hysterical way, but other opponents have acted as if the bill bans the word 'gay' in Florida schools (ludicrously false), and have foolishly attacked one of the key components of the policy: Barring classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for five-to-eight-year-olds in grades K-3. This provision, I argued, is not objectionable and would be widely popular with parents and voters overall. Activists pressed ahead with their histrionics anyway, and the results haven't worked out well for them. Some of the legitimate critiques of the legislation have been largely ignored, while the K-3 component has -- surprise -- proven popular.
As we pointed out recently, a Daily Wire poll read that particular paragraph of the bill verbatim to respondents, who supported it by a wide margin (64/21). A broader question asked by Politico/MC regarding the controversial legislation also found a national majority in favor, with just 35 percent opposed to Florida's legislation. Now we have the Florida-specific poll, mentioned above, that shows majority support among Democratic-leaning voters in the state for the general premise of banning sexual/gender instruction for young children in schools. There are other flaws in the text of the legislation, and I've drawn attention to them. But the foolish approach of opponents in this battle has involved making up an easily-refuted lie about the bill ("don't say gay") and allowing supporters like DeSantis to defend a major part of the law that is quite popular. No wonder DeSantis is running circles around these people. Here's another wrinkle to this fight, via Ed Morrissey:
In Jacksonville Tuesday, Fried spoke to labor union leaders and representatives from around the region, and questions were pointed as to whether she could prevail in the Primary and the General Election. One union rep said that while he personally might be open to support her, many of those in his union liked DeSantis and the much-discussed “Parental Rights in Education” legislation, which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Those comments illustrated a finding in the same poll that should concern Democrats who messaged heavily against this legislation. About 52% of respondents say students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade should not be taught about sexual orientation in class by teachers, which was one of the major points of contention about this legislation.
The more Democrats make their messaging and governing decisions based on the often psychotic and unrepresentative tantrums of Very Online leftist activists, the more they'll keep getting sandbagged by normal voters. Parting thought: Are the executives over at Disney still excited about their decision to side with leftist culture warriors on this bill, the way they have, while alienating conservative employees, and siding against the instincts of a majority of ordinary consumers? This is a company focused on children and families, no? As for the corporation's alleged commitment to human rights, dignity and equity, I'll simply remind you of all of this.