A majority of Florida Hispanic likely voters say they’ll vote for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ re-election, according to a new survey of the Latino electorate.
DeSantis leads Democratic challenger Charlie Crist 51%-44% among Hispanics with just over two weeks left in his re-election race, according to the Telemundo/LX News: FL Hispanic Voter Poll. The poll, conducted Monday through Thursday last week by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, is more evidence Florida Republicans are consolidating the Hispanic vote.
The poll results show flipped fortunes from just four years ago for Republicans among Hispanics. According to CNN exit polling from 2018, former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum took 54% of the Latino vote against DeSantis’ 44% that year.
Per the Telemundo/LX News poll, DeSantis’ strength among Latinos comes almost entirely from those with Cuban backgrounds, winning that electorate 72%-22%. Crist leads Puerto Ricans 59%-37% and other Hispanic voters 53%-43%.
DeSantis also has the support of 56% of Hispanics who were born in another country and a plurality, 48%, of Hispanics born in the United States.
DeSantis also leads male voters 54%-40% and voters 50 and older 54%-42%. The candidates split female voters (48% each) and voters 49 and younger (47% each).
Among Hispanic independents, DeSantis enjoys a 56%-34% lead.
The poll also found DeSantis with a positive 15% net approval rating among Hispanic voters and surveyed voters on various current events.
DeSantis’ worst performance on the issues came regarding his decision to fly Venezuelan migrants from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Hispanic voters approve of the flights by 50%-43%.
Pundits have suggested DeSantis risks shedding Hispanic support over the migrant flights. The Bexar County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office has launched a criminal investigation into the flights.
A Morning Consult and Politico poll last month found a plurality of Hispanic voters nationwide supported the move and similar actions by other Republican Governors. That poll found that 41% agreed the move was an “appropriate” way to handle illegal immigration while 35% called it “inappropriate.”
DeSantis performed stronger on other job performance questions. Voters gave DeSantis a positive 30% net approval on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, a positive 17% sum on housing and property insurance, and a positive 56% on his response to Hurricane Ian.
Mason-Dixon surveyed 625 Hispanic voters who self-identified as likely to vote during the Midterms. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
Mason-Dixon called the landlines and cell phones of registered voters and assigned quotas to reflect Hispanic voter registration by county.
Early voting begins Monday in parts of the state. Election Day is Nov. 8.
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