Poll: Ron DeSantis, Marco Rubio in good shape against Democrat opponents
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Marco Rubio. Image via AP

Virus Outbreak Pence
St. Pete Polls found Charlie Crist performing better than Nikki Fried, but still trailing the incumbent.

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.

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].


  • Tom

    November 22, 2021 at 6:25 am

    Gov Ron, America’s Governor is making a difference in Floridians lives. On every substantive issue, he’s delivered and shown great leadership in highly trying times.
    Florida is thriving because the Governor refused to follow lock down narrative.

    Sen. Rubio is a voice of conscience on behalf of the average, middle class voter and family.

    Both are on the side of people.

    • Marty

      November 22, 2021 at 10:02 am

      DeSantis is culling the herd. Getting rid of the old folks, disabled, and people with chronic disease. Republicans are supposed to be the party of life. LOL. I would have thought that if somebody mucks up as badly as DeSantis did while in office, the voters would have fired them. DeSantis allowed thousands of people to die from COVID.

      • zhombre

        November 22, 2021 at 10:23 am

        Rubbish. You’re ignorant and spouting slander and lies. DeSantis prioritized the elderly, who got vaccinated first, and those more susceptible to COVID, per scientific data. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Typical Florida Democrat.

      • Tom

        November 22, 2021 at 4:39 pm

        Marty, how ignorant.
        Oh yeah your right.
        Allowing you to have your freedom, life to work. Allowing children to go to school. Vaccinating seniors in record numbers compared to 49 other Govs & states. You ate can idiot, hon can volunteer to give up all rights. Idiot

  • Tinley

    November 22, 2021 at 6:54 am

    Gov. Ron: has become “America’s Governor”!

  • Ron Ogden

    November 22, 2021 at 8:20 am

    These results, if they keep up, are going to confront the ruling Democrat clique with a choice: admit they won’t win or do something drastic, a la 2016. I bet they choose the latter.

  • Andre

    November 22, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Val demmings has burned through 8 million dollars already and has not moved the needle. She is going to get crushed!!

  • zhombre

    November 22, 2021 at 9:05 am

    Florida Democrats are outnumbered in voter registration, and are ineffectual in everything but radiating sanctimony and spewing slurs against Republicans, and can hardly field a candidate who can win statewide office. Fried’s election was a fluke and won’t be repeated.

  • Larry Gillis, Libertarian (Cape Coral)

    November 22, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    Roger Stone recently threatened to highjack the Libertarian nomination and run for Governor.

    Should this figure into your calculations here, or is Roger just venting?

    • Tom

      November 22, 2021 at 1:01 pm

      Larry the libertarian,
      Somewhere between no chance, no hope and no one cares.

      He’s to busy saving his sperm.
      The filth is awful from him. He’s waist deep in manure of his doing.
      Only Trump and Nixon likes hm.

  • Melissa

    November 24, 2021 at 9:23 am

    GOD BLESS FLORIDA! Governor Desantis is saving our state. I’m so thankful for our great state, our bodily autonomy and the great state powers that are preserving our rights. Florida is really a safe haven. We have to support our representatives, support our first responders, our military and our health care workers who have been displaced in this madness.

  • david parks

    November 24, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    Another lazy S Pete Poll. When was the last time they were correct? Maybe 2010? Both DeSantis and Rubio are at least +8 today and might win by 10+ in 2022….

    • Tom

      November 24, 2021 at 9:25 pm

      Possibility15 pts.by Nov 22.
      DeSantis the best, America’s Gov.

  • Lili

    November 27, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Biggest problem for Florida.
    What happens to Florida is DeSantis wins US Presidency… We have nothing decent to take over as Governor.
    Lets remember the opponent to our current Governor was Gillum with a long list of corruptions acts covered up by the Democrats in the name of racism. We were so close to have that atrocity as Governor.
    Crist is a non starter, Fried will never be able to fill those shoes.
    To everyone that tells me DeSantis needs to run/win Presidency I say NOOOO! we need him as Florida Governor. I do not trust the Democrats to give us somebody good for that candidature, and I don’t see anybody else in the Republican side either.

Comments are closed.


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