TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A new poll shows that if Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) and Governor Ron DeSantis (R) faced off in a gubernatorial campaign today, DeSantis is favored to win 51 percent to 42 percent. The same poll shows DeSantis winning 52 percent to 41 percent against Charlie Crist (D).
Released Tuesday, the poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy finds that DeSantis’ job approval ratings have rebounded significantly since last summer when he seemed at times to be out of step with the coronavirus crisis.
Crist, the former Republican Governor who switched to the Democratic Party and lost to Scott in a gubernatorial run in 2014, has substantially unfavorable name recognition. According to the poll, 41 percent of registered voters hold an unfavorable view of him and 27 percent hold a favorable view, while 10 percent didn't know who he was.
Fried, who never ran for office before she won the Agriculture Commission election in 2018, 37 percent of voters didn’t recognize her name, 21 percent have a favorable opinion of her, and 15 percent unfavorable.
Since July, the Governor has recovered, with 53 percent of registered voters approving of his performance and 42 percent disapproving. At the end of 2019, his peak, DeSantis had 65 percent approval.
DeSantis tops the to Democrats with voters age 50 or older, White voters, men, and in North Florida and Southwest Florida, specifically.
Conversely, in Southeast Florida, Fried leads DeSantis 54 percent to 33 percent and Crist leads 58 percent to 33 percent. Both Fried and Crist have dominant leads among Black voters and hold slight leads, within the margin of error, among Hispanic voters.
Among independents, DeSantis leads Fried 58 percent to 29 percent; he leads Crist 60 percent to 28 percent.
The polling is early, and no Democrats have committed to take on DeSantis yet, nor has he committed to a reelection run, though his rhetoric and activity in recent months have led to speculation he may make a 2024 presidential run.
The phone poll was conducted of 625 registered voters with a margin of error of 4 percentage points for statewide results.