ORLANDO FLORIDA — As election day nears – and millions across the state have voted early – a newly released Spectrum News/Siena poll shows DeSantis growing his lead, now 12 points ahead of Charlie Crist.
According to the poll, 54 percent, more than half of likely voters, say they will vote to re-elect Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. Down from September, 42 percent said they would likely cast a ballot for Crist. Additionally, DeSantis has a 20-point lead over Crist with independent voters and is 25 points ahead among Hispanic voters.
When hurricane Ian made landfall in late September, DeSantis and Crist reacted immediately after the storm. DeSantis toured the damage and focused on providing help to affected Floridians as quickly as possible. Crist was accused of soliciting donations from those affected by the storm.
With a 5-point increase, DeSantis may have seen a boost due to optimistic views on his response to Hurricane Ian. An overwhelming 72 percent of respondents said they are “completely” or “somewhat” satisfied with how DeSantis handled the disaster. On the other hand, Crist’s favorability dropped five points after Hurricane Ian.
RUBIO WIDENS HIS LEAD
Early polls indicated that Rubio faced a tough challenge to keep his seat in the U.S. Senate. But he continues to maintain strong support as Val Demings loses ground. A 51 percent majority of likely voters say they will vote to keep Republican Marco Rubio in office. However, Demings lost support, with only 42 percent saying they would vote for her.
Demings has struggled to gain name recognition statewide, despite spending millions in major media markets. While more Florida voters view her as favorable than unfavorable, 31 percent of respondents either had no opinion or didn’t answer the question.
A substantial 57 percent of likely voters believe that Florida is on the right track. But an even greater 63 percent of respondents say the nation is heading in the wrong direction. The new poll numbers remained largely unchanged since September.
No wonder those content with Florida’s direction side with DeSantis over Crist 85 percent to 12 percent. The respondents dissatisfied with the country’s path support Rubio over Demings 83 percent to 13 percent.
The Spectrum News/Siena College survey was conducted from October 30 to November 1, 2022. It has an overall margin of error of 4.4 percent.