DeSantis leads Crist by 11 points ahead of debate, poll shows

2J1YBE8 SHADY HILLS, Florida, USA. 28th Mar, 2022. Gov. Ron DeSantis prepares to sign the Parental Rights in Education bill during a news conference on Monday, March 28, 2022, at Classical Preparatory school in Shady Hills. (Credit Image: © Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire)

Photo: Alamy

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis received good news Friday with the release of a new poll, which placed him 11 points ahead of his Democrat challenger, Charlie Crist.

According to the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) survey, DeSantis holds a 51-40 percent advantage over Crist, having earned top marks (63 percent approval) for his response to Hurricane Ian.

“The governor’s hurricane response received strong approval among Floridians, who most likely favor him in the upcoming gubernatorial race,” FAU BEPI Director Monica Escaleras said in the Friday press release.

Overall, DeSantis received an approval rating of 53 percent, with 66 percent of respondents revealing they expected him to be reelected.

Conducted Oct. 12-16 among a sample of 719 registered voters, the survey also revealed that inflation was voters’ primary concern at 36 percent, followed by “threats to democracy” at 19 percent. Only 9 percent specified abortion access as their most important issue.

As DeSantis prepares to face off against Crist in Monday night’s debate, the poll’s results will undoubtedly provide the Republican with a confidence boost, however unneeded that might be.

DeSantis has long been considered the favorite to win the gubernatorial contest, soaring to national popularity for his leadership throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and his staunch opposition to the Biden administration’s policies, breaking fundraising records all the while.

Monday’s debate, to be hosted by CBS12 News, is the only one scheduled for the gubernatorial race. Starting at 7:00 p.m. ET, the event will be live-streamed and broadcast live on local TV stations across the state of Florida.

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