Polling Shows Dem Surge Against Ron DeSantis As Momentum Builds

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Newly available polling data for the Florida governor’s race shows incumbent Republican Ron DeSantis faltering to an extent that might be surprising. The race isn’t out of Democrats’ reach — and toppling DeSantis’s governorship would no doubt put a major dent in his potential presidential ambitions.

In the new numbers, which are from Democratic-leaning organizations Progress Florida and Florida Watch, DeSantis led both of his potential Democratic challengers in the general election, but the leads are on the smaller side. He’s up against Charlie Crist, who’s currently a Dem Congressman from southern Florida and is himself a former governor, by just three percent. DeSantis had 47 percent of the support, while Crist had 44 percent. Against Nikki Fried, who’s currently the Agriculture Commissioner in Florida and the only Democrat elected statewide in Florida, DeSantis fared slightly better. The incumbent had 49 percent, while Fried had 43 percent. Election Day in this year’s Florida primaries is August 23.

“Ron DeSantis leads Democratic candidates for governor, but by less than many would expect,” a document summarizing some of the new poll data says. “Given his financial advantage DeSantis remains a favorite to win re-election, but his polarizing nature could put a ceiling on his support.” There’s an almost even split of voters viewing him favorably and those with the opposite view, with 50 percent indicating a favorable stance and 48 percent an unfavorable one. Meanwhile, results from this polling showed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tied against expected general election challenger Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), who’s hoping to win his seat. Both candidates had 45 percent. When respondents were asked which party’s Congressional candidate they’d back in the general elections this year, Democrats and Republicans were also tied, with 46 percent of the support each.

DeSantis hasn’t confirmed he’ll be running for president, but he’s widely regarded as a likely contender, and polling data — including on the national level and within individual states such as Florida and New Hampshire — shows him with a surprisingly strong showing against Trump. If Trump for some reason doesn’t end up running in the next presidential race, it seems likely — based on DeSantis’s level of support in GOP presidential primary polling — that he’d be a front-runner, if not the front-runner, for the nomination. As for the Senate, flipping just a single seat could change control of the chamber. If Dems add a seat, they’ll become less reliant on the party’s most moderate members, but if Republicans do it, then they’re back in the majority. Dems control the currently evenly split chamber because Vice President Kamala Harris breaks ties. Dems are getting positive signs in polling from key states like Pennsylvania, where Democratic pick John Fetterman is trouncing Republicans’ Mehmet Oz, aka Dr. Oz.