Ron DeSantis leads Democratic gubernatorial challengers by nearly double digits
Ron DeSantis. Image via Colin Hackley.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried have significant ground to make up.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is sitting pretty with a nearly double-digit lead over his nearest 2022 challenger, according to a new poll.

Polling from Political Matrix/The Listener Group released Wednesday put the first-term Republican Governor in head-to-head matchups against U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the two Democrats vying for their party’s nomination.

Crist, who was elected Governor in 2006 as a Republican, polls the closest to DeSantis, but is still down 45% to 55%. Fried, the only Democrat to win a statewide election in Florida since 2012, is down by a considerable 22-point margin, 39% to 61%.

The bulk of Fried’s deficit to Crist appears rooted in support from Democrats. And that could be attributed to Crist’s advantage in name recognition.

In both matchups, 89% of Republicans stood by DeSantis. Crist wasn’t far behind in same-party support with 83%, but Fried performed considerably worse. She garnered the support of only 69% of Democrats while DeSantis nabbed the remaining 31%.

Crist’s history as a former Republican didn’t give him an advantage in that electorate, but it possibly earned him support among those with no party affiliation. Crist still trailed DeSantis among that group 47% to 53%, and Fried performed slightly worse, 44% to 56%.

Against both potential opponents, DeSantis’ lead is outside the poll’s 3.66% margin of error. The poll includes responses from 716 likely voters, called on landlines between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday.

DeSantis performed similarly in a head-to-head poll last month. And last week, a separate Political Matrix/The Listener Group poll showed Crist leading Fried in the Democratic Primary by just over 10 points, with 29% still undecided.

There’s plenty of time for DeSantis’ lead to shift with more than a year before Election Day.

Crist announced his third gubernatorial campaign last month. In his last race in 2014, he ran as a Democrat and lost to incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott by 1 point.

At the start of this month, Fried formalized her campaign. In 2018, she was elected Agriculture Commissioner over then-State Rep. Matt Caldwell by less than a 10th of a point.

The Listener Group is based in Pensacola. The firm in 2020 focused its polling efforts in the Panhandle, where it predicted most races surveyed accurately.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Tom

    June 23, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    It’s really a coronation ceremony.
    Governor Ron is on track for 55% win.
    What happens after is anyone’s guess. If 45 bows out, Gov Ron would be the likely candidate.
    He’s having a wonderful run as Governor and is shrewdly addressing counter issues compared to Biden D C narrative. He will bridge the divide from Reagan to Trump. He’s on the side of blue collar, middle class peoples. He has much to offer and still learning. Whiz kid who actually studied the science and led Florida. People are realizing. Fried had very little chance and Crisp will have a hard time getting beyond the 44%.
    DeSantis is in the 55% range.

  • Andy

    June 23, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    I have to agree with the prior comment barring a political apocalypse for the governor he will win hands down. As a moderate Democrat I really thought he was doing a good job and still do to some degree. I just wish he would put the red meat politics aside.

  • Tom Palmer

    June 23, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    The Dems need to get their act together if they’re going to win anything.

    • Zhombre

      June 23, 2021 at 9:00 pm

      They will not, and they will not.

  • Tom

    June 23, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    Palmer always hopeful, never realistic.
    Fraud Fried should withdraw, its an embarrassment. Her numbers are atrocious.

  • Wanda

    June 24, 2021 at 11:52 am

    I am a Republican but I am going to vote Democrats party Ron is a want to be dictator

    • Tom

      June 24, 2021 at 1:43 pm

      Obviously, under severe analysis review,. Hardly, you are a soros clone, Rebekah JoneS and fraud Fried.
      You will refer to him
      As Mr President one day. Cuomo is the dictator, grabbing women employees and sending recovering covid seniors to the homes. Enjoy

    • Tom

      June 24, 2021 at 7:21 pm

      There was a movie called. A fish called Wanda. Just saying.
      I’m sure you are the type of Repub that voted for Obama & Biden.

  • Panda

    June 24, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    I ummah Indipendant but I umm going to vote Dims party DeSatan is want to be Cthulhu


    June 26, 2021 at 4:19 pm

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    Cuz of
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    Will provide opportunity for
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    Parkland High School murders
    Jewish Community Center Apartments Bombed
    Revoking drivers licenses county by county employees provide ample opportunity for medical and surgical treatment for PLACQUE SARS DISEASE from 1000 pound water animalsAGE 14 years old qualifications for W4 work release minor child employeement
    Then those educated on CRITICAL RACISM TEACHING are put on a
    BLACK LIST of county employees
    bothe employees of
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    Taught the Critical Racism teaching in Kentucky
    Now are pursued as criminals of a fugitive list as employees Saint Petersburg FL.
    Black bag and black boxes
    Water Gate Investigation
    Richard Nixon Frankfort Kentucky
    Security Breech family court
    Security Breech Police Department
    Security Breech Pentagon

Comments are closed.


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