DeSantis holds massive lead in governor’s race, poll shows

by Meredith Minto

According to the latest University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab poll, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking a massive lead against potential opponents Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist.

DeSantis has a resounding 55 percent of voters saying they will support him at the ballot box, with just 34 percent coming out in support of Charlie Crist if this were the matchup this November – 11 percent of respondents were undecided.

If DeSantis and Fried face-off, 55 percent would support DeSantis, while 32 percent would vote for Fried, and 12 percent saying they were undecided.

Not only is Ron DeSantis leading in the polls, but his approval rating is up 10 points from October 2020.

“DeSantis approval is up by ten percentage points from last time we asked, back in October of 2020,” Dr. Michael Binder, a staff member with PORL, commented. “Fried approval has remained largely steady since our February of 2020 poll, and the ‘don’t knows’ have gone down some, but folks still seem to be pretty unsure.”

Between the top two Democrat candidates, Fried and Crist, Crist leads Fried by eight points, but 38 percent of Democrat voters are undecided.

“Crist has eight points on Fried in the governor’s primary, but we still have 38% of registered Democrats in this survey who are undecided,” Binder said. “These folks likely won’t make up their minds for a while, so this will be a pretty muddled picture until later in the summer.”

The poll also sampled voters on their enthusiasm.

“Enthusiasm for the upcoming governor’s race is up in the overall sample, but when you break it down by party registration, we see that 65% of registered Republicans are more enthused than the last election, compared with just 49% of Democrats,” said Binder. “This suggests Republicans might be trending toward a larger turnout advantage.”

The Florida Democrat primary will happen on Aug. 23, 2022.

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