With just over a month remaining before Election Day, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a commanding lead over his Democratic challenger, Charlie Crist, according to new polling data collected prior to Hurricane Ian’s arrival.
Jacksonville-based firm Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy surveyed 800 registered and likely Florida voters Sept. 26-28. The poll had a 3.5 percentage point margin of error.
Of those polled, 52% said they will support DeSantis in the General Election and 41% said they are in Crist’s corner.
Just 1% of politically active Floridians are undecided between the two candidates at this point, while 6% still haven’t decided whether they’ll vote for DeSantis, Crist or a third-party challenger.
DeSantis is entering the homestretch of the 2022 election cycle with 55% job approval — his highest mark since March 2019. But where just 24% of voters disapproved and 14% weren’t sure about the job he was doing back then, 42% today are displeased with his performance.
Still, it’s a slight improvement over the Governor’s 53% approval this past February.
Mason-Dixon staff noted that much of the goodwill DeSantis now enjoys is likely to hinge on how he handles recovery after Ian. The storm slammed into Florida Sept. 28 at near-Category 5 strength, bringing torrential rain, tornadoes and massive storm surges that flooded a large swath of the Gulf Shore.
As of Tuesday, more than 100 people in the state were confirmed dead due to the storm, the damage from which is estimated to be upwards of $75 billion.
“It will be important to see if (DeSantis) can maintain or improve (his approval rating) in the coming weeks, as his leadership will be tested by state attempts to repair and recover from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Ian,” Mason-Dixon staff said.
DeSantis leads Crist in terms of general favorability as well. Half of those polled said they recognize him favorably, compared to 39% unfavorably and 11% who held a neutral opinion of him.
Just 33% of respondents said they recognize Crist favorably, while 39% said they recognized him unfavorably and 22% had neither a positive nor negative opinion. Of note, 6% said they did not know of Crist, a former Congressman, Governor, Attorney General, Education Commissioner and state lawmaker.
Crist’s strongest base of support is in Southeast Florida, a largely Democratic-leaning area that includes Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, Collier and Monroe counties. Fifty-three percent of voters there prefer him over DeSantis, Libertarian Hector Roos and no-party candidate Carmen Jackie Gimenez.
Everywhere else in the state is, for the most part, “DeSantis country.” More than 55% of voters in the Tampa Bay area and Northeast, Central and Southwest Florida prefer him.
Demographically, DeSantis enjoys support from 60% of men, 56% of voters 50 and older, and 62% of White voters. Crist, meanwhile, has the backing of 87% of Black voters and 50% of Hispanic voters.
Neither has majority support from women, 6% of whom said they haven’t yet picked between the two men. The same goes for voters under the age of 50, whose 9% undecided rate is the highest among all groups.
Along party lines, DeSantis has 92% support from Republicans and 52% of unaffiliated voters. Seven percent of Democrats also said they like him better.
Crist has 84% of Democratic voters behind him and 39% support from unaffiliated voters. Three percent of Republican voters also said they’ll mark the circle next to his name.
Early voting for the Nov. 8 election is set to begin at least 10 days prior to Election Day.
October 5, 2022 at 6:16 am
No surprise for those of us who are political analysts. This has been foreseen for the past year.
Chameleon and Dumings are a joke as candidates. Lying, pathetic chameleon is a hypocrite who is the worst candidate in the USA.
DeSantis saved Florida during Covid, and his leadership now during hurricane Ian demonstrates his unique ability to do so once again.
In contrast to incompetent Biden/Harris, which we will witness today.
The pathetic Dem haters on FP and beyond have failed in every step and will continue to do so. DeSantis will pull in over 10% of Dem voters Election Day, strong Hispanic support will follow.
Florida is economic opportunity for all under America’s Gov, compared to un equality under Biden/Harris.
Do for America what you have done for Florida Gov DeSantis. God Bless you and your family!
October 5, 2022 at 7:31 am
👆 Vote for me. I’ll make this guy read a college text book which will likely cause him to explode in a murderous rage. At this time he will be thrown in jail.
October 5, 2022 at 9:33 am
NOT TODAY SATAN!!
October 5, 2022 at 9:44 am
Satan? The stupid bastard (Tom) just said he was a political analyst and the SOB can’t even spell the word dumb! Spells it “dum.” You people are full of shit!! Buncha charlatans!
October 5, 2022 at 10:18 am
I’ve made you crazy Joey! LMAO.
Welcome incompetent Potus to Florida, 39% approval in Florida.
Will dum Dumings show up?
Chameleon twisting like a pretzel!
I’ve made Joey Soros Corsin have a damaged psyche, LMAO.
October 5, 2022 at 10:36 am
You haven’t made anyone crazy but yourself you nut. You need inpatient psychiatric hospitalization for narcissistic delusions. If I’m elected, I’m going to get your IP address from FP and track you down… Baker Act your ass for the safety of the community.
October 5, 2022 at 10:23 pm
You are dum LOL.
You psycho, so pathetic.
Chameleon. Memo, you ain’t winning.
And yes I am a political analyst and savant.
October 5, 2022 at 8:25 pm
Texas is moving ahead with the criminal of Desantis,they want to question his co conspirators,name Perla Huerta ,she is the lady identified as luring migrant to Martha Vineyard Google Perla Huerta Desantis
October 7, 2022 at 6:50 pm
Desantis using Florida tax dollars deporting legal Venezuelan immigrants seeking asylum in Texas from Maduro’s communist regime to Martha’s Vineyard while foaming at the mouth calling everyone you disagree with a communist is a bad look to say the least. Even if Desantis wins this election, plenty of fodder against him in 2024. Where there’s smoke there’s fire and there’s plenty of smoke around this move by Desantis, among many others acts like bullying high school kids for wearing masks. He can win low turnout off election year Florida elections where only the most based voters turn out, but he is not ready for prime time and his taste of humble pie this week standing next to President Biden proves that.
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