New polling from the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab shows Gov. Ron DeSantis well ahead of his potential Democratic gubernatorial opponents.
Matched up against both Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, DeSantis was the choice of 55% of 685 registered voters polled between Feb. 7 and Feb. 20.
Crist mustered 34% support against DeSantis, with Fried drawing just 32% backing.
“We’re seeing a very wide margin for DeSantis against both top Democratic candidates — Crist and Fried,” said Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and professor of political science. “A lot of Democratic voters still don’t know who they would vote for, so I would expect that lead to narrow between now and November.”
At least in this poll, a “lot of Democratic voters” chose DeSantis over either potential nominee. The survey showed 24% of Democrats picked the Governor over Crist, while 22% liked DeSantis over Fried.
That crossover support came along with strong pull with non-party affiliated voters for DeSantis also. Against either Fried or Crist, DeSantis was the choice of 54% of those independents.
DeSantis was above 50% against both candidates with both men and women. While he was not over 50% among all age groups, DeSantis nonetheless led both Fried and Crist among all of them.
The UNF poll also surveyed the Democratic Primary, finding somewhat muddled results.
Crist was atop the field, with 27% support. Fried was second at 19%. Meanwhile, state Sen. Annette Taddeo was the choice of just 4% of those surveyed, putting her in a tie with David Nelson Freeman.
A full 38% of respondents didn’t know which candidate they preferred.
“Crist has eight points on Fried in the (Democratic) Primary, but we still have 38% of registered Democrats in this survey who are undecided,” said Binder. “These folks likely won’t make up their minds for a while, so this will be a pretty muddled picture until later in the summer.”