Poll shows Charlie Crist with massive lead over Nikki Fried among Democratic voters
Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried

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Crist would take 55% of the vote to Fried's 22% if a primary were held today, St. Pete Polls finds.

Charlie Crist opens the 2022 gubernatorial race with a solid majority of Florida Democrats ready to back him, while few Democrats show confidence that his likely Democratic rival Nikki Fried would have much chance to oust Gov. Ron DeSantis.

A new poll from St. Pete Polls survey, commissioned by Florida Politics, finds the former Republican Governor turned Democratic Congressman is a commanding favorite over the state Agriculture Commissioner if the Democratic primary were held now between Crist and Fried.

The poll shows nearly 55% of registered Democratic voters would vote for Crist.

Just under 22% would pick Fried.

Another 11% of voters are holding out for another candidate. More than 12% remain undecided.

The poll was taken days ahead of Fried’s expected entry into the 2022 contest and shows Fried still has a case to make with voters. Crist, of Pinellas County, announced his candidacy weeks ago.

Pollsters surveyed 2,572 voters between May 24 and 26 and reported just a 1.9% margin of error.

It’s still more than a year before Democratic voters choose the nominee who will confront DeSantis. It’s certainly possible the polling reflects a difference in name recognition, but the numbers show electability appears to be a big factor.

Asked about Crist’s chances of beating DeSantis, about 30% of voters give the Congressman better than even odds to unseat the Republican incumbent. Another 38% give him a 50/50 chance of winning. A smaller 27% see only a small chance of victory with Crist, and 5% remain unsure where things stand.

There’s less confidence in Fried. Only 14% of Florida Democrats expect that Fried would have the advantage over DeSantis, while 29% call a DeSantis-Fried contest a coin flip. At this point, 42% of Democrats think that Fried has only a small chance of victory. The other 16% simply are not sure.

If elected, Fried would be Florida’s first woman to become Governor, but that gives her no advantage with female voters, who break 57% for Crist and 20% for Fried. By comparison, Crist leads among male voters by 52% to Fried’s 24%, a considerably closer margin.

Fried is Florida’s only Democrat currently holding statewide office. Crist ran for Governor before, narrowly losing to then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2014 and winning as a Republican in 2006.

Crist leads with all racial groups and in every media market as well, along with holding majority support in every age demographic.

 

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]


13 comments

  • zhombre

    May 27, 2021 at 9:10 am

    So what?

  • Ron Ogden

    May 27, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Supposing Miami grows enough backbone to tell her “no governor run”, Fried will still have a hard time keeping her present job. A good example of a politician whose only real career purpose is self-aggrandizement.

  • JimRayner

    May 27, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Doesn’t matter which Democrat is the nominee, whoever it happens to be will be crushed by DeSantis anyway.

  • Arthro

    May 28, 2021 at 5:33 am

    DeSantis is clearly the best Governor in the US and has shown tremendous leadership in the most trying times of our nation. I can’t think of any Democrat that can beat him.

    Crist is a pandering fool with no convictions except getting himself elected. His best career highlights include losing the Senate race to Rubio in 2010, and losing his last bid for Governor against Rick Scott. Charlie sucks.

  • Rob

    May 28, 2021 at 7:11 am

    DeSantis 2022. DeSantis 2024

    • joe

      May 28, 2021 at 7:50 am

      Desantis would be term limited in 2024 but your enthusiasm is noted.

      • Charlotte Greenbarg

        May 28, 2021 at 8:05 am

        He’s not referring to Gov race in 2024.

  • Tom

    May 29, 2021 at 12:02 am

    Gov. Ron May break 60% next Nov. against either one. DeSantis is crushing it. His press conference back drops are Reagan like. His micro approach Great In setting images. The substance he provides as a Gov whiz kid is awesome. What we need is mvbridge for our movement from Reagan to Trump with a new young conservative voice leader like Gov Ron.

  • Professor Proper

    May 30, 2021 at 9:59 am

    In all likelihood, DeSantis will will re-election by 5+% points, regardless of who In Democrats nominate. If Fried were smart, and I believe she is, she will sit out this race, and wait for ’26 and an “open” Governor’s race.

    I’m a Democrat, who believes it will be near impossible to defeat Gov. DeSantis. Sadly, Florida has emerged as “Trump Country”, and I question whether it’s still a “swing state” in Presidential politics.

    Also, I am NOT enthusiastic about Crist, as the man simply can not be trusted. Let Crist have the nomination, and get beaten like a drum. He’s a sneaky snake who deserves to be embarrassed nationally.

  • Tom

    May 30, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    Gov. Ron May break 60% next Nov. against either one. DeSantis is crushing it. His press conference back drops are Reagan like. His micro approach Great In setting images. The substance he provides as a Gov whiz kid is awesome. What we need is a bridge for our movement from Reagan to Trump with a new young conservative voice leader like Gov Ron.

  • Tom

    May 30, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks professor. Finally a Dem with sense. You are close but Gov DeSantis breaks 60%. The Dems have no issues. Fried had literally done and accomplished nothing. Just hysterical criticisms. DeSantis is a volcano.

  • Ocean Joe

    May 31, 2021 at 10:47 am

    You guys are too modest. Desantis will take 90% of the vote…at least among the rich folks who jumped the vaccine line.

  • Tom

    May 31, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    Number one state for seniors vaccinated smart guy! To much ocean air confusing you.
    Dums have no chance. Fried freak show and her saboteur running mate Rebekah Jones will get trounced. Amazing when whiz kid Gov follows the science Dums rebel. CBS/60 mints ran for cover with that discredited hot job. Whiners, wait til election night. Fried had nothing to offer but cannabis as their lobbyist.

Comments are closed.


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