Watch CBS News

Poll: Abortion rights draws support as most call current law "too strict" — but economy, inflation top factors for Floridians

How abortion access is changing in Florida
How abortion access is changing in Florida 05:12

Florida is drawing plenty of attention for its abortion battles, and it's showing widespread support for abortion access in the state, though that does not translate into making it a presidential battleground. 

That's because voters here rate Florida's economy as mixed and the national economy as bad, with inflation and immigration having more impact on the contest right now. 

Florida's voters tend to think they'll be better off financially with Donald Trump, who leads comfortably in his bid to carry the state for a third straight time. 


Abortion impact

There is a lot of support in Florida for abortion access, including the majority view that the current six-week ban is too strict. Women are even more likely than men to say so.

Most Florida voters would want abortion to be legal in most cases, and overwhelmingly in at least some cases.

But in the presidential race, that doesn't all accrue to President Biden's benefit — or entirely hurt his opponent, former President Trump.

Here's why: First, while it is important, abortion isn't seen nearly as important as the economy and inflation for likely voters. In fact it trails a host of other issues.  


(That's partly because it's partisan: Democrats care a lot more than Republicans.)

Second, Trump has distanced himself a bit on the issue, with a lot of voters neither blaming nor crediting him for Roe's overturn. While there's relatively more blame than credit, coming especially from Democrats, it's less for independents, and less across the wider electorate.

Then relatively few think Trump would try to pass a national ban going forward. 

So even for those who want abortion to be legal, there's no consensus on what the implications of a Trump vote would be in that regard.


Mr. Biden, for his part, is seen as trying to make it legal everywhere.


Third, there are plenty of Republicans and Trump voters who think, as most Democrats do, that abortion should be allowed at least in some circumstances. In fact, very few want it illegal in all cases. This has long been true nationwide.


Fourth, regarding turnout, infrequent voters aren't any more likely than more regular voters to say the abortion issue motivates them to turn out.

There is majority support for establishing a constitutional right to abortion in Florida. Although as is often the case with referenda and amendments, there's a lot of expressed uncertainty regarding Amendment 4 and many people who say they have not heard or read about it yet.


At the moment, Democrats are more likely than Republicans and independents to report having heard about Amendment 4.

Voters, and women in particular, do have concerns that extend into all reproductive health care if the amendment does not pass. Most voters think that access to care will get harder, and women are especially apt to think so.


Do the candidates have the mental and cognitive health to serve?

As we've seen nationally, Trump is seen as having the cognitive health to serve as president, more so than Biden.

Florida has a lot of older voters, who are more likely to feel only Trump has the ability to serve – 

But it's young people who stand out here: they're the most likely age group to think neither of them can serve.


The marijuana measure

Speaking of young people, they're backing an amendment that would legalize marijuana, but it's finding plenty of favor across all age groups under 65.


Key groups

Mr. Biden is faring worse with key parts of the Democratic coalition than in 2020, which partly explains why he's further back today than he was four years ago. 

One notable group is Hispanic voters — and the economy explains a lot of that.

Most of Florida's Hispanic voters think they'd be worse off financially if Mr. Biden wins.


DeSantis and other issues

After winning reelection easily two years ago, Florida's voters are more split on Gov. Ron DeSantis today, as he just edges into positive territory for approval among voters (he's slightly under among Floridians overall.) 

But either way, he does get very strong backing from the state's Republicans, despite having run against their preferred presidential candidate. 


What also divides Floridians is perceptions of his efforts against things he considered "woke," many of which drew national attention in advance of his presidential campaign. That's split between those who think it made Florida better, or worse, and it's predictably partisan. 


Another one of the state's Republicans, incumbent Senator Rick Scott, is comfortably ahead in a potential November Senate matchup.


This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted between May 10-16, 2024 with a representative sample of 1,576 adults living in Florida. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as past vote.The margin of error is +/- 3.1 points for the total sample and +/- 3.9 points for the sample of registered voters.

Florida toplines

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.