Progressive group polling finds Ron DeSantis may be in a closer race than expected


The incumbent sits at less than 50% in one new poll.

A poll released by Florida progressive groups suggest Gov. Ron DeSantis may face more resistance to re-election than expected.

Survey results released by Progress Florida and Florida Watch show 48% of registered voters intend to vote for DeSantis for re-election. Meanwhile, about 43% of voters intend to vote for the Democratic challenger, whether that is U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist or Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

The Democratic nominee will be chosen in an Aug. 23 Democratic Primary, and pollsters did not release any results comparing which major candidate would fare better against DeSantis.

The Hub conducted the poll using Clarity Campaigns and a panel of Florida registered voters

About 2,244 registered Florida voters weighted to reflect a midterm electorate favorable to Republicans. Respondents were surveyed between July 26 and 31.

Pollsters Geoff Puryear and Annika Ramnath both say there’s no shaking the fact DeSantis holds an edge “but by less than many would expect.”

“Given his financial advantage DeSantis remains a favorite to win re-election, but his polarizing nature could put a ceiling on his support,” a polling memo reads.

Pollsters found DeSantis holds near universal name recognition but voters have strong feelings as a result. About 50% of viewers hold a favorable view, with 39% saying they view him “very favorably.” But 48% have an unfavorable view, and 40% see him “very unfavorably.”

Pollsters stressed the electorate leaned right. About 41% of those polled were Republicans compared to 37% Democrats and 22% with no party affiliation.

“For the last decade the Republican advantage has never been bigger than 2 points. By party identification the sample is 47% Republican and 44% Democrat,” pollsetrs said.

It was also an electorate that dislikes a frequent foil of DeSantis, unpopular Democratic President Joe Biden. About 57% of those polled see Biden unfavorable and just 40% view him favorably.

The poll found Democratic viewers motivated regardless in part because of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. DeSantis signed a 15-week abortion ban this year anticipating that ruling.

Here is the polling memo:

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