Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio appear to be in good shape against their likely Democratic opponents. That’s according to the latest survey from St. Pete Polls commissioned by Florida Politics.
The poll, taken Nov. 18 and 19, shows DeSantis leading the two most prominent Democrats challenging his re-election. If the election were held today between DeSantis and Rep. Charlie Crist, the Governor would take almost 51% to the St. Petersburg Democrat’s nearly 45%. In a head-to-head with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, DeSantis takes just over 51% to her 42%.
Rubio also holds a lead against Rep. Val Demings, his most prominent Democratic challenger. In the federal race, pollsters found 51% would vote for Rubio, while just over 44% would pick the Orlando Democrat.
Perhaps more important that the head-to-head matchups, both Republican incumbents clear the 50% mark with voters. Pollsters, who included responses from 2,896 active voters, report a 1.8% margin of error. But that shows challengers most likely will have to peel votes away, not just win over undecideds, in order to win next fall.
Results of the poll were weighted based on how respondents voted in the last presidential election. Around 50% of those polled voted for Donald Trump and 47% for Joe Biden, similar to the breakdown of Florida’s vote in November.
That said, the poll showed significant motion in the Governor’s race in DeSantis’ direction, a good sign for the Governor but also one that the race remains fluid. The same pollster in August found Crist leading the Governor with 45% to DeSantis’ 44%. At that point, pollsters still showed DeSantis leading Fried 45% to 42%.
That poll showed both Democrats getting nearly the exact level of support they register today, but a good chunk of voters have now moved to DeSantis.
This poll shows both DeSantis and Rubio winning over independents. DeSantis takes 52% of the no-party-affiliation vote against Crist and 43% against Fried, with both Democrats taking about 41% of their vote. It’s a closer race for this swingy set of voters in the Senate race, but Rubio still wins 51% of independents to Demings’ 43%.
Demings, who would be Florida’s first Black Senator, wins 77% of Black voters to Rubio’s 14%. Rubio, who is Florida’s second Hispanic Senator, wins 54% of the Hispanic vote to Demings’ 41%. Notably, Rubio also wins 50% of the female vote to Demings’ 41%.
But party ID may be the most important identity politics at play at the moment. More than 81% of Republicans stick with DeSantis or Rubio in the poll. Crist, a former Republican Governor, is able to peel about 1% of the GOP vote that won’t back Fried.
Crist wins 75% of Democrats and Fried wins 71%. Meanwhile, Demings takes 76% of her own party’s vote.
Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight include St. Pete Polls in their polling aggregations.