Florida Chamber poll: Ron DeSantis leads all potential Democrats by double digits

Crist_Desantis side_by_side (7)
Charlie Crist has the best standing, but trails the incumbent by 10 percentage points.

A new poll shows Gov. Ron DeSantis with a double-digit lead over the most likely challengers to his reelection.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce released a Cherry Communications poll Monday asking about head-to-head matchups between DeSantis and three potential Democratic nominees.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a St. Petersburg Democrat, posts the best showing against DeSantis. But the Republican incumbent still leads Crist 51% to 41%, including holding a 50% to 33% edge among independent voters.

The poll found 87% of Republicans standing by DeSantis compared to 76% of Democrats preferring Crist. A former Republican Governor, Crist wins just 1% of the Republican vote.

Crist is the only major Democratic candidate to announce he’s running for Governor this cycle. Pollsters tested matchups against two other likely candidates, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and U.S. Rep. Val Demings, an Orlando Democrat.

DeSantis leads Fried 51% to 39% but notably holds a slimmer lead among independents, 48% to 32%. But DeSantis wins 89% of Republicans to Fried’s 74% Democratic support.

The Governor fares best against Demings, leading her 53% to 38%, a 15-percentage-point margin. Against Demings, DeSantis wins 92% of the Republican vote while she gets 76% of Democratic support. The incumbent holds a 20-percentage-point lead among independent voters.

Against all three potential opponents, DeSantis’ lead is outside the poll’s 4% margin of error. The poll includes responses from 602 voters, reached between April 30 and May 8, a period that spans before and after Crist announced his candidacy.

Unlike a Victory Insights poll released last week, the Chamber survey doesn’t include a potential Democratic Party primary matchup pitting Crist, Fried and Demings against one another. But between 74% and 76% of Democrats in the Chamber Poll will back the nominee out of these three choices. The Democratic primary remains more than a year away.

The best news for DeSantis may be that he polls above 50% against any of the three Democrats.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Artwork

    May 13, 2021 at 12:42 am

    Charlie has no chance. Zero. He is the King of Panderers and just need to retire. Florida Politics wants to pretend that Crist is for real. Nope.

  • Diana OHalloran

    May 22, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    We need a Governor who cares about the environment and Florida wildlife and that’s NOT DeSantis!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn