Poll of Florida Voters Suggests DeSantis May Receive Less Than 50% of Votes in Gubernatorial Election – A Tight Margin?

Toby Hazlewood

His reelection may not be assured?

A recent poll of over 2,000 progressive voters in Florida - weighted to represent Republican voters - has suggested that the results of November's gubernatorial election could be closer than expected.

In the poll, current Governor Ron DeSantis was projected to receive just 48% of votes - only 3 percentage points ahead of a Democratic candidate.

The poll was reported on August 8 and was carried out by Florida Watch and Progress Florida. While these organizations typically represent so-called progressive groups, the results suggest that a second term for Governor DeSantis is far from being assured. To illustrate that it wasn't just a poll of Democratic voters, 57% of the same group also expressed that they view President Biden 'unfavorably'.

Last month however, the Real Clear Average of polls reported that Charlie Crist led Nikki Fried by a significant margin and in a DeSantis V. Crist election, DeSantis would win by a margin of 8%. It goes to show that polls can vary enormously.

A worsening position for DeSantis?

A 3% margin represents a stronger majority that the governor enjoyed when he was elected into office; his winning margin was 32,463 votes - just 0.4%

A Mason Dixon poll of voters carried out in February of 2022 showed that at the time, Governor DeSantis was projected to win 51% or more of the votes against any candidate, and that he was enjoying an approval rating of 53%. If the results from the August poll are representative, it could just show a worsening situation for DeSantis.

The Democratic primaries scheduled for August 23, when either Charlie Crist or Nikki Fried will be selected to compete against DeSantis. After that process is complete, it would be reasonable to expect that future polls will better reflect the sentiment of voters when they are able to truly consider the relative merits of each of the candidates.

Time to unleash the DeSantis war chest?

As the November election approaches it seems likely that all candidates will turn their focus towards campaigning and spending the money that each has received from donors. This could be where DeSantis starts to increase his margin over whichever of Fried and Crist wins the primaries.

The DeSantis war chest has been widely reported to be well in excess of $100 million at this point, and growing at around $10 million per month. Crist on the other hand has barely managed to exceed $1 million in donations per month recently, suggesting that he may have less cash at his disposal to fight an election campaign. Time will tell how close the election turns out to be!

Do you think Governor DeSantis is guaranteed a second term in office or do you think the polls are right and that the election could be closer than anticipated? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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