A new survey from St. Pete Polls reveals dismal news for Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. In the survey, more Florida voters disapproved of his job performance than those who said that they approved. A full 48.5 percent of overall respondents indicated that they disapprove of DeSantis’s job performance, with only 43.7 percent saying that they approve. Although the numbers are close, statewide elections have often been close in Florida, and something like this comparatively low approval for his job performance from the general public could be enough to sink DeSantis’s hopes for re-election. In the same survey, Democratic Congressman and former Governor Charlie Crist led DeSantis, albeit by a slim margin.
In the St. Pete Polls survey, Crist, who’s running to challenge DeSantis, led DeSantis with 45.3 percent of the support compared to 43.8 percent for the governor. The other prominent candidate in the ongoing Democratic gubernatorial primary, current Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, lost by a slight margin to DeSantis in the same survey. She had 41.8 percent of the support, while DeSantis had 45.1 percent. In each instance, significant numbers of voters remained undecided. In theory, Crist’s potential higher name recognition — he’s a former governor — could be helping boost his campaign.
Recently, DeSantis has attracted significant criticism for his reckless handling of COVID-19 in Florida, which has become a center of the latest surge of the virus. Despite rapidly increasing hospitalizations, DeSantis has gone the direction of blocking local school boards from imposing face mask mandates, among other similar policy moves.
The culmination of the next governor’s race in Florida is imminent — it will unfold next year as part of the midterm elections. Amid those midterm elections, Democrats are hoping to hold on to majorities in both the House and Senate in Congress, and there are positive signs suggesting that such a raft of victories may be possible. President Joe Biden remains generally popular — especially compared to Trump, and there are at least a couple of currently GOP-held Senate seats that Democrats have a good chance of flipping. Those seats are in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, both of which were won by Joe Biden last November. Democrats could also flip a Senate seat in North Carolina, where incumbent Republican Richard Burr is retiring.