Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis leads his top Democratic challenger 13 months out from the state’s gubernatorial contest, a new GOP-aligned poll shows.
In the survey from VCreek/AMG for Americas PAC, and reported by The Hill, DeSantis netted 47% support in a matchup against Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., who pulled in 39%.
DeSantis took a bigger lead over his other Democratic rival, state agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried, 48% to 36%, the survey showed.
The poll puts DeSantis in a strong spot ahead of the November 2022 midterm elections in Florida, despite a summer surge in COVID-19 infections that tested the conservative governor’s handling of the pandemic.
DeSantis, who’s generated some buzz as a 2024 Republican presidential nomination contender, has mostly ignored the advice of federal public health officials when it comes to lockdowns and COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
Additionally, he’s tried to preempt local governments who work around him and impose their own COVID-19 restrictions. Since late July, DeSantis has tussled with school officials over an executive order banning school districts from requiring students to wear face masks.
The governor’s race is one of two big statewide contests next year, along with the Senate race featuring Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
In a VCreek/AMG survey of that contest, Rubio leads his chief Democratic rival Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla. In a head-to-head matchup, Rubio scores 43% support to Demings’ 38%, with 14% undecided.
Demings still fares better than her primary opponent, former Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who netted 32% to Rubio’s 44% support.
The VCreek/AMG poll surveyed 405 likely Florida voters from Sept. 23-27 using live calls to cellphones and landlines. The poll did not calculate a margin of error.