DeSantis tops Crist, Fried in poll of Florida governor race

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisSupport for governors sliding in states without vaccine mandates: survey Vaccine 'resisters' are a real problem Republicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' MORE (R) holds comfortable leads over his top Democratic opponents ahead of his 2022 reelection bid, according to a new poll conducted for a GOP-aligned political action committee. 

The poll, conducted by the firm VCreek/AMG for Americas PAC, shows DeSantis garnering 47 percent support in a head-to-head match-up against Rep. Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristCrist says as Florida governor he would legalize marijuana, expunge criminal records DeSantis tops Crist, Fried in poll of Florida governor race Budowsky: Newsom soars while Trump, Abbott, DeSantis ratings lag MORE (D-Fla.), who notches 39 percent backing. Another 12 percent say they’re still undecided. 

DeSantis has an even bigger edge over his other Democratic rival, state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, whom he leads 48 percent to 36 percent, according to the poll. In that match-up, 11 percent of respondents remain undecided. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The poll suggests that DeSantis remains in a strong position 13 months before the November 2022 midterm elections in Florida, despite a summer surge in COVID-19 infections that put the governor’s laissez faire handling of the pandemic back in the spotlight.

DeSantis, a rising conservative star who’s seen as a potential contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has largely eschewed the advice of federal public health officials throughout the pandemic, objecting to the sweeping mandates and lockdowns that many other states enacted.

Over the past several months, DeSantis has moved to preempt municipal and county governments from imposing their own coronavirus-related restrictions. Since late July, he has been engaged in a bitter back and forth with school officials over an executive order banning school districts from requiring students to wear face masks. 

The Florida governor’s race is one of two marquee statewide races in the Sunshine State next year, along with the closely watched Senate race featuring Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRepublicans would need a promotion to be 'paper tigers' Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE (R-Fla.).

The VCreek/AMG poll shows Rubio leading his chief Democratic rival Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsTim Scott takes in .3 million in third quarter Demings outraises Rubio with .4 million haul Rubio rakes in million for reelection bid in latest fundraising quarter MORE (D-Fla.), but not by much. In a head-to-head match-up, Rubio scores 42 percent support to Demings’s 38 percent. Fifteen percent of respondents remain undecided. 

Demings still fares better than her primary opponent, former Rep. Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonDeSantis tops Crist, Fried in poll of Florida governor race Florida Rep. Val Demings officially enters Senate race against Rubio Demings raises Democrats' hopes in uphill fight to defeat Rubio MORE (D-Fla.), who garners only 32 percent support to Rubio’s 44 percent. 

The VCreek/AMG poll surveyed 405 likely Florida voters from Sept. 23-27 using live calls to cellphones and landlines.