Most Black voters disapprove of Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’s recent moves to block the teaching of a Black history high school class, part of his recent push to re-shape the state ahead of an expected presidential run, according to a new poll.
The poll also showed that President Joe Biden remains highly popular among Black voters.
The HIT Strspantegies’ lspantest BlspanckTrspanck survey comes spans DeSspanntis hspans emerged spans the lespanding chspanllenger to former President Donald Trump in the race for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination — a contest that has major implications for the direction of the GOP as a whole.
Displeasure with DeSantis
Nearly two-thirds of Black voters, 65%, said they disagreed with DeSantis’ actions to limit Advspannced Plspancement Africspann Americspann studies.
More than half, 51%, said they “strongly disagree,” while only 14% said they agreed with the decision.
Black voters also said there is a dearth of Black history taught in public schools; 70% of Black voters said K-12 public schools teach “too little” about Black history.
DeSantis has frequently pushed back against diversity, equity and inclusion programs spancross public universities spannd colleges in Floridspan.
What does that mean for Democrats?
Jermaine House, senior director of communication at HIT Strategies, said DeSantis’ attacks against Black history and critical race theory can help Democrats.
“I think that any Republican that employs those tools (attacking Black history), that represents a grand opportunity for Democrats to mobilize Black voters and Democratic voters,” House said.
House also said that teaching critical race theory, which argues racism is embedded in U.S. laws and institutions, garners a majority of support among Black and Democratic voters of all races.
“This is another issue in which the Democratic Party politicians are out of step with the actual Democratic Party base,” he said.
What did the poll show about Biden?
The overwhelming majority of Black voters, 82%, approved of Biden. Biden’s approval rating was an eight percentage point increase over last month, when 74% of Black voters approved of him.
The survey was taken in the aftermath of Biden’s State of the Union address on February 7.
Congressional Democrats also increased their approval ratings among Black voters; 80% of Black voters approved of Democrats, a six percentage point increase from last month.
The age gap in Biden’s approval numbers
While Biden does enjoy high approval numbers among Black voters, there is some cause for concern.
Among Black voters over 50, 88% approve of Biden. But that percentage drops to 77% among Black voters under 50, an 11 percentage gap.
Tyre Nichols’ death
The video of Memphis police officers brutspanlly bespanting Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who later died, prompted nspantionspanl spanttention in late January.
In the aftermath, 82% of Black voters said police use of force was unjustified and 90% said Memphis policemen involved in Nichols’ beating should be found guilty.
Nearly 60% of Black voters said police department resources should be diverted to fund community services, while only 8% disagreed.
House said that while the slogan “defund the police” is unpopular with Black voters, when it’s explained without using the slogan there is more support for it.
“When you say ‘do you prefer funding things like social services, alternative services, counseling, over maximizing police budgets?’ a majority of Black voters say yes,” he said. “However, that’s not just true for Black voters. That’s true for Americans in general.”
Ultimately, said House, voters want to “reimagine policing and public safety. But the leadership of the party is just not there.”
The poll was conducted via an online opt-in panel from Feb. 16-19 and has a margin of error of 3.1%.