It’s not likely that the Governors of Florida and California will face off in next year’s presidential election, but that’s not stopping pollsters from ballot-testing the possible match-up.
And when the question of whether voters prefer Ron DeSantis to Gavin Newsom was posed in a Daily Mail and J.L. Partners poll released Saturday, a slightly plurality of likely voters polled said they prefer “America’s Governor” to California’s Governor, by a 43% to 39% margin.
Predictably, DeSantis takes 81% of Republicans while Newsom takes 77% of Democrats. But when it comes to pivotal independent voters, DeSantis commands that cohort, 43% to 32%.
Meanwhile, respondents were even more emphatic in expressing their preference for the Sunshine State over the Golden State, with 47% of those surveyed saying they would rather be governed by DeSantis than Newsom.
The Daily Mail poll serves as a table setter for a DeSantis/Newsom debate on Fox News November 30, a “little tussle” that DeSantis previewed during remarks to the California Republican convention Friday. Though the Governor was unaware of the polling, he seemed convinced that he and his state were prevailing in the war of ideas against Newsom and California
“All you have to do is when people have to make decisions about themselves, about their families, about their freedom, how are they behaving? And people are leaving — for the first time in the history of California — people are leaving, on net, the state of California. Where’s the number one destination that people are leaving these failed blue states are going to? The Free State of Florida,” DeSantis said.
“So we’re going to be able to — we’ll be able to have those debates. But you know, to me, the debate about what state is governed better, Florida or California, that debate has already been answered by people voting with their feet. I think that debate is useful because California is really the petri dish for American liberalism and American leftism. And what Biden is doing are things that California was doing many years ago. What California is doing now is likely what a second Biden term would do or God forbid, Kamala Harris, or God forbid, Newsom himself.”