A poll released by two Florida progressive groups suggest Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis may face more resistance to re-election than expected.
Survey results released by Progress Florida and Florida Watch show 47% of registered voters intend to vote for DeSantis for re-election, while 44% intend to vote for U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist. DeSantis leads Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, 49%-43%. (After initially reporting that DeSantis was up five points versus a generic Democratic, Florida Politics asked for more detail on the head-to-head match-ups and we were provided those details.)
The Democratic nominee will be chosen in an Aug. 23 Primary.
Pollsters Geoff Puryear and Annika Ramnath both say there’s no shaking the fact DeSantis holds an edge “but by less than many would expect.”
“Given his financial advantage DeSantis remains a favorite to win re-election, but his polarizing nature could put a ceiling on his support,” a polling memo reads.
Crist’s campaign hailed the results.
“This poll again cements Charlie Crist as the best candidate to defeat Ron DeSantis. And for the fall, it proves that Florida remains a critical battleground state,” said Samantha Ramirez, spokesperson. “Floridians are uniting behind Charlie to make Ron a one-term governor. And the rest of the country is waking up to the fact that this race will be a marquee battle with major national implications.”
Pollsters found DeSantis holds near universal name recognition but voters have strong feelings as a result. About 50% of viewers hold a favorable view, with 39% saying they view him “very favorably.” But 48% have an unfavorable view, and 40% see him “very unfavorably.”
Pollsters stressed the electorate leaned right. About 41% of those polled were Republicans compared to 37% Democrats and 22% with no party affiliation.
“For the last decade the Republican advantage has never been bigger than 2 points. By party identification the sample is 47% Republican and 44% Democrat,” pollsetrs said.
It was also an electorate that dislikes a frequent foil of DeSantis, unpopular Democratic President Joe Biden. About 57% of those polled see Biden unfavorable and just 40% view him favorably.
The poll found Democratic viewers motivated regardless in part because of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. DeSantis signed a 15-week abortion ban this year anticipating that ruling.
The Hub conducted the poll using Clarity Campaigns and a panel of Florida registered voters
About 2,244 registered Florida voters weighted to reflect a midterm electorate favorable to Republicans. Respondents were surveyed between July 26 and 31.
Here is the polling memo: