Chances of Democrat Beating Ron DeSantis With 1 Month to Primary: Polls

With Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis up for reelection as rumors swirl about his 2024 presidential campaign ambitions, Democrats hope to defeat him in the upcoming November election and will choose their candidate in one month during the state's primary on August 23.

Four Democrats are seeking their party's nomination to run against DeSantis in November: Congressman Charlie Crist, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, consultant Cadance Daniel, and teacher and minister Robert Lee Willis. Crist, who served as Florida's governor from 2007 to 2011, and Fried are seen as the frontrunners in the race.

When he was elected as governor, Crist identified as a Republican until 2010 and then as an independent until 2012 when he became a Democrat. He appears to be leading Fried by a substantial margin for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Charlie Crist and Ron DeSantis
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist hopes to win his primary on August 23 and challenge incumbent Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in the November election. Above to the left, Crist attends a round table discussion on July 6 in Miami. Above to the right, DeSantis speaks during a summit on July 15 in Tampa, Florida. Joe Raedle/Octavio Jones/Getty Images

Polling in June by St. Pete Polls showed the congressman with 49.3 percent support among likely Florida Democrat voters compared to Fried's 23.8 percent. That's a lead of more than 25 points for the former GOP governor.

Meanwhile, 26.9 percent of respondents said they were undecided. The survey, which was carried out from June 16 to 17, included 1,007 likely Florida Democratic Party voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

While DeSantis is considered the favorite as a Republican incumbent in a state that went for former President Donald Trump in 2016 and in 2020, multiple recent polls actually show a close race. A survey from May 27 to June 4 by The Political Matrix/The Listener Group showed Crist narrowly ahead.

That poll had the Democratic hopeful at 50.6 percent compared to DeSantis' 49.4 percent. The survey included 714 likely Florida voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.67 percent.

A previous May survey by The Phillips Academy showed DeSantis and Crist neck-in-neck with a large chunk of undecided Floridians as well. The incumbent Republican governor was slightly ahead with 35.5 percent support as opposed to the Democrat's 34.8 percent. An additional 29.7 percent of respondents were undecided.

The survey included 543 registered voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent. It was conducted from May 7 to 9 and sponsored by the Abbot Academy Fund.

Prior to that, polling data from Saint Leo University showed DeSantis double-digits ahead of Crist as well as Fried in hypothetical matchups. Pitted against Fried, the incumbent governor had 50.6 percent compared to her 27 percent. When polled against Crist, the Republican was backed by 49.2 percent while his Democratic challenger was supported by just 32.8 percent.

Furthermore, the survey showed that nearly 59 percent of Floridians approved of the job DeSantis was doing as governor. The poll included 500 likely voters and was carried out from February 28 to March 12. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points

Whether a Democratic candidate is ultimately able to beat DeSantis in Florida remains to be seen. The GOP governor narrowly won his first election in 2018 with 49.6 percent support compared to his opponents 49.2 percent—a difference of less than 33,000 votes.