JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried is ahead of Charlie Crist in the Democratic primary race, according to a new poll conducted by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab (PORTL). That same poll also shows Fried seven points behind incumbent Republican Ron DeSantis in a head-to-head race.
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The poll asked registered Democrats likely to vote in the Aug. 23 primary election what their voting choices were for Democratic candidates for Florida governor and the U.S. Senate.
In the race for governor, voters surveyed said they would vote for:
– 47% for Nikki Fried
– 43% for Charlie Crist
– 4% for Cadence Daniel
– 1% for Robert Willis
– 6% did not know who they would vote for or refused to answer
– 10% do not know or refuse to answer
“Fried appears to have reversed the eight-point lead that Crist had when we polled registered Democrats on the voting choice in February,” commented Dr. Michael Binder, director of PORTL faculty and professor of political science at A F. “It’s possible that the Roe v. Wade reversal changed the makeup of this race and particularly energized women who are nearly 20 points more likely to vote for her.”
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For the US Senate seat, the results were:
– 80% for Val Demings
– 4% for Guillaume Sanchez
– 4% for Brian Rush
– 2% for Ricardo de la Fuente
The poll also asked voters who they would vote for if the midterm general election were held today, and the candidates were Ron DeSantis and Nikki Fried. Voters responded:
– 50% for DeSantis
– 43% for Fried
– 5% would vote for someone else
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Val Demings emerged victorious in the head-to-head against Marco Rubio for the US Senate with:
– 48% for Demings
– 44% for Rubio
– 7% say they would vote for someone else
Registered Republicans were also asked who they would vote for in a hypothetical 2024 presidential primary between Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump. Among the respondents:
– 47% for DeSantis
– 45% for Trump
– 7% said they would vote for someone else
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“DeSantis and Trump are the two most popular Republican names being discussed for 2024 and DeSantis is ahead of him in their home state,” Binder said. “People are split on whether Trump and DeSantis are friends or just acquaintances, I guess we’ll really find out after the mid-terms and the 2024 race starts to heat up.”
Approved for the job
Governor Ron DeSantis had a 50% approval rating, up from 58% in February of this year. Forty-five percent said they strongly approved of the work DeSantis does, while only 5% said they somewhat approved. Conversely, 41% said they strongly disapproved, and only 7% somewhat disapproved.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried had a 40% approval rating, with 27% disapproving and 31% unsure.
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“The polarization of support for DeSantis is striking, if not entirely surprising with the political agenda and media presence of the past year,” Binder commented. “More and more people seem to have an opinion on Fried since she began campaigning for governor. Her ‘don’t know’ percentage has dropped significantly from 49% in February.”
Respondents were asked if they would support a law making abortion illegal in all cases in the state of Florida, which the majority (59%) said they would strongly oppose, and 12% somewhat oppose. Twenty-seven percent said they would support such a law: 13% strongly and 14% somewhat.
The Biggest Problems Floridians Face
Forty-three percent of respondents said the cost of living was the most pressing issue Floridians face. Education and abortion/reproductive rights are tied for second, each with 8%.
“With record inflation last year, it’s no wonder Florida voters are concerned about the cost of living,” Binder commented. “Even with signs that inflation may be starting to ease, the cost of living in Florida doesn’t appear to be improving any time soon.”
Who won the 2020 elections?
Finally, respondents were asked who they thought actually won the 2020 election: Joe Biden or Donald Trump.
Overall, 60% said Biden definitely or probably won the election, while 38% said Trump definitely or probably won.