Campaign

DeSantis tops Crist, Fried in poll of Florida governor race

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (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 Crist (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. 

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 Rubio (R-Fla.).

The VCreek/AMG poll shows Rubio leading his chief Democratic rival Rep. Val Demings (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 Grayson (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.

Tags 2022 midterms Alan Grayson Charlie Crist Florida governor's race Florida politics Florida Senate race Marco Rubio Nikki Fried Ron DeSantis Val Demings
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