Florida Democratic hearts just sank as a new St. Leo University Poll of 500 voters shows that Gov. Ron DeSantis has a combined job approval rating of 58.8%.
This is crushing news for Florida Democrats.
“Governor DeSantis is benefitting from a strong economy and a lack of COVID cases in the state over the past few months,” said Frank Orlando, director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute and a political scientist. “While he gets lots of national attention for provoking the ire of liberals on things like masking, it doesn't seem to hurt him in Florida, and in fact continues to raise his national profile.”
In head-to-head gubernatorial matchups between Gov. DeSantis and the other three Democratic gubernatorial candidates—Sen. Annette Taddeo, Rep. Charlie Crist, and AG Commissioner Nikki Fried— DeSantis leads them all by double digits, and bests perceived Democratic frontrunner Fried by 23%.
DeSantis vs. Taddeo: 48.4%—29.6% (21.8%)
DeSantis vs. Crist: 49.2%—32.8% (18% undecided)
DeSantis vs. Fried: 50.6%—27% (22.4% undecided)
“As long as the governor's approval ratings remain in the upper 50s [percentage], it's hard to see him losing in 2022, which promises to be a strong year for Republicans nationwide,” said Orlando, director of the polling institute. “Due to increased name ID, it's important to look at the percentage of respondents supporting the incumbent. Being close to 50 percent in all three of the races means that he is in relatively powerful position moving forward, but we should expect tightening once the Dems pick their nominee.”