Fresh polling shows Gov. Ron DeSantis with a 5-percentage-point lead on Democratic challenger Charlie Crist.
An Insider Advantage poll for Fox 35 Orlando found about 50% of likely voters in Florida favor the Republican incumbent for re-election. About 45% plan to vote for Crist, a former Republican Governor-turned-Democratic Congressman.
That’s not a huge lead, but critically, the poll puts DeSantis above a vital 50% mark. Incumbents want that standing, as a majority level of support cannot be overcome without peeling support away.
“Crist will have to do something fairly unusual to overcome DeSantis, but it’s not impossible,” Insider Advantage founder Matt Towery said in an interview with Fox 35. “It’s just outside the margin of error, so to say that Charlie Crist is going to lose would not be a fair assumption from this poll. It just says that Ron DeSantis has what I would call a fairly comfortable lead.”
A look at the RealClearPolitics polling index shows the Governor with an average 4-percentage-point lead. That’s based on three polls conducted to date since Crist won a heavily contested Democratic Primary with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
The Fox 35 poll shows a stronger DeSantis with a stronger lead than any poll in the field to date.
DeSantis also polled at 50% in a poll commissioned for AARP that was first released to Florida Politics. That poll found Crist at 47%.
Another poll, released by Susquehanna, found DeSantis with less than majority support, but still leading Crist with 47% to 43%.
Looking forward, DeSantis noticeably has a substantial cash advantage in the race moving forward. Crist depleted most of his available campaign funding leading into the Primary and will need to catch up, while DeSantis, uncontested in August, sits on more than $130 million. But Crist is making the case to national donors now that the race remains competitive.