New poll says Nikki Fried has overtaken Charlie Crist in Florida Democratic Primary

Ron DeSantis still leads both Dems in potential General Election matchups.

A new poll from the University of North Florida puts Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried ahead of Charlie Crist in the Aug. 23 gubernatorial Democratic Primary Election.

The poll says Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis would beat either one of them if the General Election were held now. But UNF pollsters also said either hypothetical contest appears much closer today than when UNF last checked, in February.

The same poll also finds Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings cakewalks her Democratic Primary Election for the U.S. Senate, and then would be leading Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in a General Election, if it were held today.

The findings of the survey of 1,624 registered Florida voters who said they are likely Primary Election Voters, conducted online Aug. 8-12 by UNF’s Public Opinion Research Lab, are starkly different from what has been found in most other recent polls. Others have found Crist comfortably ahead of Fried, and Rubio and Demings in a dead heat.

The UNF poll has Fried drawing 47% and Crist just 43% of Democratic likely Primary Election voters.

“Fried seems to have reversed the eight-point lead that Crist had when we asked registered Democrats about vote choice in February,” Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and UNF professor of political science, said in a new release.

The UNF survey says if the General Election were held today, DeSantis would beat Fried 50% to 43%. He would beat Crist 50% to 42%. Binder said both potential matchups are much closer than they appeared in February, when DeSantis was up by over 20 points.

It says Demings will take 80% of the vote in Democratic U.S. Senate Primary Election and that she leads Rubio 48% to 44%.

UNF said the poll has a margin of error of just over 3 points.

“It is important to keep in mind that these are registered voters, and Republicans are generally more likely to turn out in November,” Binder cautioned.

The Fried findings are the most unexpected. Even Fried’s internal polls show her trailing Crist, though by a tighter margin than other public polls.

Historically, UNF polls have been faulted for frequently finding Democrats ahead in statewide races they wound up losing, though the margins of error usually absorbed much of the differences.

In the fall of 2016, for example, two UNF polls showed Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in Florida, the second poll with her lead within the margin of error. Trump won by just over 1 point. In the early fall of 2018, UNF pollsters had Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum leading DeSantis 47% to 43%, with a 4-point margin of error. DeSantis won by a fraction of a point. UNF also had then-Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott in a dead heat in the 2018 U.S. Senate election, and Scott won by a fraction.

For this poll, UNF described fine-tuning that included stratifying Florida into 18 demographic-geographic areas, instead of 10 markets, and walking the data through three steps of weighting to match samples with Florida demographics.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Impeach Biden

    August 16, 2022 at 7:57 am

    Must have been the Rebekah Jones “poll for nuts”. Rebekah, Corsin, Offen, all voted for her. Birds of a feather.

    • Joe Corsin

      August 16, 2022 at 5:21 pm

      Pushaw looks like a bird..yeah cartoon character. Also mini Hitler looks like a cartoon character. You are definitely a cartoon character buddy 😆

  • Joe Corsin

    August 16, 2022 at 7:57 am

    Need Charlie to go after the mentally deranged and intellectually crippled crumb bum Trumpists, the white supremacist terrorists, the Christian fascist abusers, and the anti-government bombers AkA The Tea Party, and the greasy Trump crooks. Humanity depends on it. Call out the military and annihilate the Trumpian menace.

    • Impeach Biden

      August 16, 2022 at 7:59 am

      I’m betting the military for the most part is pro Trump and pro DeSantis. They are defending the country not sitting behind a computer all day and collecting some form of welfare like the Corsin / Offen show.

      • Joe Corsin

        August 16, 2022 at 3:40 pm

        Meanwhile here you are every day n don’t know ye ballsack from ye bung hole🍩

        • Impeach Biden

          August 16, 2022 at 6:40 pm

          Typical left wing lunatic liberal. Can’t when the argument so the Corsin / Offen show goes full on personal attacks

  • Dave Edwards

    August 16, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Charlie nor Nikki have signs up at the courthouse in Clearwater. Neither has a ground game and supporters who care enough to sign wave. Either will lose by double digits to Ron

  • Jerry

    August 16, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    So DeSantis is winning by 8 but Rubio is losing by 4? That makes no sense. So you are telling me there are a ton of people out there who would vote for DeSantis for governor, but then vote for Demings for Senate?

  • Al

    August 17, 2022 at 9:33 am

    She is ahead because they are a fan of concert.
    The song wouldn’t make you or break you
    I just think that song had a whole different meaning.

Comments are closed.


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