TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Since taking office in 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ approval rating has only dipped nine points. That number is reported by Mason-Dixon, a polling and political strategy company.
Since 2019, Jacksonville-based Mason-Dixon reports DeSantis’ approval has dropped from 62% to 53%, though the number of those who disapprove of his job performance has grown from 24% to 43%, and the number of voters who are undecided has decreased to 4% from 14%.
November 2022 is also a gubernatorial election, and DeSantis is running against a stacked Democratic field. The Mason-Dixon poll results showed the Democratic frontrunner for the Aug. 23 primary is Charlie Crist, a current U.S. Congressman and former Republican governor of Florida.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and state senator Annette Taddeo are running against Crist in the primary. The poll results show all three losing to DeSantis in his November reelection bid, but the smallest gap is between the governor and Crist.
For polling results on just the Democratic primary, Crist is the clear winner. The polling data showed Crist taking 44% of Democratic voters, while Fried and Taddeo came in at 27% and 3%, respectively. The poll found 26% of voters were undecided for who they’d pick in a Democratic primary. When it comes to each of the three candidates versus DeSantis in the gubernatorial general election, Mason-Dixon reported DeSantis as the expected winner, with Taddeo in last place, and Crist and Fried a point apart against the incumbent.
Fried launched her campaign for governor in June, while Crist began his own 2022 campaign in May. Taddeo kickstarted hers in October, and DeSantis officially announced his own reelection effort in November.
The company said in their poll results that the predicted election win was likely due to DeSantis’ name recognition advantage, though they note that Crist “is almost comparably well known.” Crist has been involved in Florida’s politics for decades, serving in numerous roles and having run for many positions over the years.
In terms of positive name recognition, the Mason-Dixon poll again found DeSantis the clear winner. The governor had a 49% favorable recognition, compared to Crist’s 32%, Fried’s 20% and Taddeo’s 7%. According to the same data, 57% of respondents didn’t know who Taddeo was, while only 3% didn’t recognize the current governor’s name.
Getting down to approval ratings, DeSantis was most popular in North and Southwest Florida, where he had a 62% and 64% approval rating. The lowest approval for the governor was in Southeast Florida, where only 38% of respondents approved of his performance in office. Male voters were the largest portion of DeSantis supporters, according to the Mason-Dixon poll.
Across demographics for age and race, DeSantis’ had support from a larger portion of those 50-years or older, and among white and Hispanic voters, while 71% of Black Floridians disapproved of his job as governor. For party registration groups, 11% of Democrats approve of DeSantis, while 89% of Republicans do, and 61% of independent or non-party affiliated voters support the governor’s performance in office.
On the flip side, 44% of Democratic primary voters would choose Crist for governor if they had to vote right now. Only 27% would vote for Fried, and just 4% would vote Taddeo in to take over Tallahassee.