Poll: Ron DeSantis Leads Potential Challengers by Double Digits

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is leading his potential Democrat challengers in the upcoming gubernatorial race by double digits, a Saint Leo University polling institute survey released this week found.

A majority, 56.4 percent, approve of the Florida governor’s job performance. Of those, 36 percent “strongly” approve. Concerning the Chinese coronavirus specifically, 53.4 percent approve.

The survey took a glance at matchups between DeSantis and his potential Democrat challengers in the Sunshine State’s gubernatorial race, including Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL); Nikki Fried, Florida’s commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and Annette Taddeo, a Florida state senator from Miami.

In each scenario, DeSantis leads by double digits. He leads Crist 46.6 percent to 35 percent, Fried 46.4 percent to 32.6 percent, and Taddeo 47.2 percent to 28.2 percent.

Frank Orlando, the director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, pointed to the governor’s high approval rating, noting that “voters won’t want to throw out a governor they approve of”:

The national environment for Democrats, meanwhile, is “almost toxic,” Orlando said. And the visibility of the governor’s office favors DeSantis now. “His opponents, in particular new entrant Annette Taddeo, are not nearly as well-known as DeSantis,” Orlando said.

The survey, taken October 17-25, among 500 Floridians, has a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent. 

This week, DeSantis announced a series of key efforts he is pushing on the election integrity front, urging the state legislature to prioritize it in the next session. Proposals include placing a timeline on cleaning voter rolls, as well as increasing the penalty for ballot harvesting from a misdemeanor to a felony.