Poll shows Ron DeSantis more popular but still losing to Joe Biden, Donald Trump
Ron DeSantis and Joe Biden at Surfside. Image via AP.

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Governor holds strong favorability ratings, but loses in head-to-head 2024 matchups.

A poll shows Florida voters have a more favorable view Gov. Ron DeSantis than of President Joe Biden. But Republicans here still want former President Donald Trump as their nominee for President in 2024.

And regardless, Biden tops Trump or DeSantis in a hypothetical head-to-head race for President in Florida. But DeSantis could take Vice President Kamala Harris, the poll showed.

The poll from Naples-based Victory Insights took a look at how Florida’s voters feel about their own Governor and the other prominent choices for President. But it found there’s not necessarily a correlation between whether voters think a candidate is doing their job well and whether they want that candidate holding the highest office in the land.

Biden would win the Sunshine State with 51% to Trump’s 49%, the poll shows, and he would beat DeSantis by a similar margin. Harris would more narrowly defeat Trump but still come out with roughly the same percentage of the vote. But DeSantis could defeat Harris with 51% to her 49%. The poll has a 4.5% margin of error.

“Florida has taken the spotlight as a swing state turned (marginally) red state, and if DeSantis is the Republican nominee, it could prove crucial to his victory or defeat,” reads a polling memo.

Curiously, the poll finds DeSantis is popular here, regardless of how voters view his chances as a presidential candidate.

DeSantis boasts 55% favorability rating in the poll, with 42% of voters viewing him very favorably. That’s greater than Trump’s 52% favorability or Biden’s 51%, and significantly greater than Harris’ 47%. Trump lives in Florida, but DeSantis as Governor seems to hold significant sway with voters.

Yet, when pollsters looked at what leader Florida voters wanted leading the ticket in 2024, there was a definite break.

Among Republicans, 58% want Trump as the GOP nominee and for the ex-President to attempt a comeback to the White House, while just 30% want DeSantis as nominee. Florida’s Governor did stand out as the clear Trump alternative should the former President decide on a quiet Mar-a-Lago retiree life. Only 12% of voters polled preferred any choice besides Trump or DeSantis.

By comparison, about 60% of Florida Democrats want Biden to seek a second term, compared to 17% who prefer Harris lead the ticket and 23% who want another candidate.

The poll also measured “favorability intensity” for the four candidates and found DeSantis with the edge there. Looking at voters in the wider voting pool, pollsters calculate a favorability intensity of 76% for DeSantis, compared to 70% for Biden, 67% for Harris and 66% for Trump.

Looking only at internal party support, DeSantis polls even better, with an 86% intensity among Republicans compared to 78% for Trump. Among Democrats, Biden enjoyed a 76% intensity and Harris a 73% level.

“First, DeSantis has fervent supporters, evidenced by the fact that he leads in both in-party (+5%) and overall (+6%) favorability intensity,” a memo states. “Second, Trump’s appeal is much stronger within the Republican Party than it is across party lines.”

At the same time, all the candidates also scored high in terms of “hated intensity,” or those who grade the candidates very unfavorably. Trump holds an 86% negative intensity among Democrats and an 85% rating overall, making him the most hated in the field no matter how much Republicans love him. Similarly, Harris has an 85% hated intensity among Republicans and an 81% overall.

DeSantis isn’t so reviled as Trump or Harris, but there’s more disdain for him in Florida than for Biden. The Governor holds an 83% negative intensity with Democrats and an 80% among all voters. Meanwhile, Biden comes in with 79% with all voters and 82% among Republicans.

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]


14 comments

  • Alex

    October 13, 2021 at 7:19 am

    DeAnus’s biggest problems?

    #1 he’s an ugly, tubby little putz that looks like a guy who drives a jacked up pickup.

    #2 He doesn’t have the stage presence of flamboyant arrogance, foppishness, selfish pride, and pure asshole the Trump Cult of Personality worships and wants to be like.

    Reply

    • Tom P.

      October 13, 2021 at 9:33 am

      He’s a Navy Seal. He could take you out with a side glance!

      As for point 2, the fact that he doesn’t have the traits you mention is actually a good thing!

      Reply

      • Alex

        October 13, 2021 at 10:00 am

        Lol

        Is that what Klannity said?

        He’s was the legal advisor for a SEAL team.

        No SEAL training.

        Zero.

        Desk jockey.

        Reply

      • Sandra Davis

        October 13, 2021 at 3:04 pm

        Thank you, Tom! Alex is lost in Socialistville with all his “friends”. This bogus poll is HILARIOUS!

        Reply

  • ScienceBLVR

    October 13, 2021 at 7:27 am

    It is still amazing to me that some Republicans (not all) still support Trump. True Republican conservatives I know personally, have vowed to not support a Republican presidential candidate in 2024 if Trump is the nominee. One opined to me that he lost last time, and why would this be any different- perhaps worse, actually, once the investigation into Jan. 6 is done as well as the many other legal issues Trump faces. My R friends think a little better about De Santis, but the more he does the Trump dance, the less they like him. Suing and fining private businesses, local governments, and school systems just doesn’t match the Conservative mind think. DeSantis needs to stop the authoritarian double speak if he wants to go national. Of course, many of those Republican supporters may not survive to vote in 2024 if they follow his wayward health policies that have resulted in 56K deaths. I wonder what the main political affiliation of those poor souls is?

    Reply

    • Sandra Davis

      October 13, 2021 at 3:11 pm

      Why wouldn’t we support Trump? He is the ONLY president in my lifetime to call out “progressive” liberal swamp creatures for the cowardly, communist, criminals that they are. Your “R friends” comment? Just take a few deep breaths and maybe your delusion will dissipate.

      Reply

    • zhombre

      October 13, 2021 at 5:01 pm

      Are those “true Republican conservatives” you know of the Lincoln Project ilk, and will they sit out 2024 to let Joe Biden have a 2nd term? LOL!!! Or maybe Dementia Joe will defer to Cackling Kamala.

      Reply

  • #FJB

    October 13, 2021 at 8:50 am

    Fuck Joe Biden

    Reply

    • Tom P.

      October 13, 2021 at 9:34 am

      Come On, Man. Get it right!

      Let’s go, Brandon!

      Reply

  • Charles

    October 13, 2021 at 9:02 am

    Delusional hoping, never going to happen. Typical left nonsense, hoping to invigorate their base (at least what’s still left) Democrats will get annihilated in 2022 and deservedly so.

    Reply

    • Alex

      October 13, 2021 at 11:10 am

      Babylon Bee is a satire site run by “christian” conservatives. (oxymoron)

      IOW – pure nonsense and not worth the click.

      Reply

    • Alex

      October 13, 2021 at 11:31 am

      Satire site from conservative christians.

      How weird is that?

      Reply

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