Poll shows Nikki Fried leading Charlie Crist in Democratic Primary for Governor
But her lead is within the poll’s margin of error.

Nikki Fried launch video
But her lead is within the poll’s margin of error.

The Democratic Primary for the 2022 Governor’s race is just over a year away, and polls show the two most well-known candidates, Congressman Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, are taking turns leading the pack.

In a poll among Democratic voters released Thursday, Fried led Crist with 36% support to 33%, with 31% still undecided.

The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling, a pollster with an A- rating by FiveThirtyEight.

Kevin Cate a media consultant for Fried’s campaign indicated they were surprised to see her polling ahead of Crist, a candidate with strong name recognition, so early in the race.

“It’s always nice to see a lead in a poll, especially from a pollster so highly rated, but it’s still way early, and earlier than we would have anticipated pulling even or ahead of someone running statewide for the seventh time,” Cate said in a written statement.

The survey polled 274 Democratic voters and has a margin of error of 6%, which means the poll doesn’t indicate a solid lead for Fried, but it could still mark a turning point for her. Past polls have shown Crist leading the Primary race.

In June, a Political Matrix/Listener Group poll showed Crist leading with 41% support to 31%.

Polling from St. Pete Polls released just last week showed Crist outperforming Fried in hypothetical match-ups against Gov. Ron DeSantis. That poll also included independent voters, among whom Crist polls well.

But all previous polling was conducted before Fried started her daily COVID-19 briefings, often carried by media outlets across the state amid a dearth of daily COVID-19 communication from DeSantis.

“This is likely a reflection of the statewide leadership of Commissioner Fried during this COVID crisis. We know Democrats want someone who can beat Ron DeSantis, someone who can hold the rigged system accountable, but most importantly, somebody who puts politics aside to get things done for Floridians — and that’s Nikki Fried. She’s qualified, she’s proven, and she’s ready,” read Cate’s statement.

But taking swipes at the Governor’s COVID-19 response seems to be a popular move for both democratic challengers. Crist, not to be outdone by Fried, has been wading into COVID-19 policy from the campaign trail.

Crist announced in a Tweet Thursday all campaign staff must be vaccinated.

At a campaign event Wednesday Crist said, he’d “do everything differently,” referring to DeSantis’ COVID-19 response. Crist criticized DeSantis for doing too little to persuade Floridians to get vaccinated or to wear masks at indoor gatherings.

Haley Brown

Haley Brown covers state government for FloridaPolitics.com. Previously, Haley covered the West Virginia Legislature and anchored weekend newscasts for WVVA in Bluefield, W.Va. Haley is a Florida native and a graduate of the University of Florida. You can reach her at [email protected].


  • PetrrH

    August 12, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    As a conservative I will vote for any Democrat who runs against Ron DeSantis.

    Real conservatives should join like minded conservatives at the Lincoln project or ather ‘never Trump’ organizations. It is impossible to recreate the vision less Republican Party! The GOP must be totally destroyed before it can be rebuilt from the ground up!

    • Ed

      August 12, 2021 at 3:01 pm

      Conservative compared to who, AOC, Pelosi, Watters Omar, Tlaib? Come on you aint fooling no one. You voted for Gillum, a known drug user and will now vote for Fried, a marijuana user. I can’t wait to see Fried’s financial report. Is she still digging holes in her backyard and burying cash at her $700K house? Her sudden millionaire status when she showed up to Tallahassee with her hand our will be entertaining as she attempts to spin it.

      • Brian

        August 12, 2021 at 3:53 pm

        At this point, I would take Andrew Gillum and a boy over DeSantis anyway…. at least Gillum would kill us.

        On another note, Fried’s poll is totally bogus.

      • James Spinella

        August 14, 2021 at 7:49 pm

        I think we just want someone who will do something, anything to try to mitigate the casualties of the pandemic. Who cares if a candidate is a drug user, Gillum could be high as a kite 24/7 we’d still have far fewer COVID deaths under his leadership than “DeathSantis” because Gillum wouldn’t be spewing conspiracy theories, discrediting experts and banning mask mandates.

      • From the outside looking in

        August 16, 2021 at 12:30 pm

        I suppose you are a Gaetz support as well. The Republican Party as it currently function is beyond redemption and true conservatives need to do what ever they need to to retake their party. The party has lost its moral compass.

    • zhombre

      August 12, 2021 at 6:57 pm

      If you consider the grifters and sleazy opportunists at Lincoln Project to be “real” conservatives, you’re absolutely cuckoo and no attention should be given to you.

      • James Spinella

        August 14, 2021 at 7:52 pm

        Sounds like when Donald J Trump tells you to jump, you say “how high!?” while calling everyone who disagrees with you a “brainwashed sheep”. That’s pretty funny, man.

  • Ron Ogden

    August 12, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Meanwhile, two respected polls, Quinnipiac and Economist, show President Biden’s approval below 50%, and a Fox News poll shows approval of his border policy is 35%. Naturally, FLAPOL will offer a flash story about this tomorrow. I will suggest your header: “That didn’t take very long!” over “New polls show Biden’s approval rate collapsing just over 6 months into his term” Good, huh? Sort of NY Post – ish. Oh, ok, I won’t hold my breath.

    • Tom Palmer

      August 12, 2021 at 7:11 pm

      No professional poller takes Quinnpiac seriously. Ask Susan McManus.

    • Michael K. Cantwell

      August 24, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      Trump never polled above 48%. And Afghanistan is a momentary distraction.

  • Vilanowoman Home

    August 14, 2021 at 10:53 am

    DeSantis clearly doesn’t care about the people in this state based on his off-the-wall policies. The only cares about energizing his base so he can run for President. Do we really want someone running our state, who is focused on winning the Presidency?

    • James Spinella

      August 14, 2021 at 7:55 pm

      Well no, we don’t, but nobody who thinks DeSantis is doing a bang-up job is going to read your comment and reconsider for even a nanosecond.

    • From the outside looking in

      August 16, 2021 at 12:37 pm

      He seems to feel that he can sacrifice as many lives as needed to gain trumpian support. No cost to others is too high for his gain.

  • Michael K. Cantwell

    August 24, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    Trump never polled above 48%. And Afghanistan is a momentary distraction.

Comments are closed.


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