Ron DeSantis and Marco Rubio lead Democratic challengers in poll of likely Florida voters

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A Spectrum News/Siena College poll of likely Florida voters found that incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis leads Democratic challenger Charlie Crist 49% to 41%, while incumbent GOP Sen. Marco Rubio leads Democratic Rep. Val Demings 48% to 41%.

The poll was conducted September 18-25, which was before Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc in the state last week.

While 39% indicated that they would prefer that the upcoming congressional contests in the country result in a U.S. Congress controlled by the GOP, 31% indicated that they would prefer for the two congressional chambers to be controlled by the Democrats, and 21% favored a scenario in which the chambers would be split between the two parties.

Given a list of issues, 39% selected economic matters as being the most important when they decide who they will back during the election, while “Threats to our democracy” came in a distant second place at just 16%.

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The poll found that 22% strongly approve of President Joe Biden’s job performance, while 21% somewhat approve, 46% strongly disapprove, and and 8% somewhat disapprove.

DeSantis entered office in 2019 and is currently running for reelection during the Sunshine State’s 2022 gubernatorial contest. Rubio took office in 2011 and is currently running for a third term.

Crist previously served as Florida governor from 2007 to 2011 after getting elected to the post as a Republican. He lost a 2010 U.S. Senate race to Rubio while running as an independent. He lost the 2014 gubernatorial race to then-Gov. Rick Scott while running as a Democrat. Crist won election to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat in 2016, and went on to serve from 2017 until he stepped down from that role at the end of August 2022.

“Those who support the governor should stay with him and vote for him,” Crist said in August of DeSantis backers, adding emphatically, “I don’t want your vote.”

Charlie Crist speaks in St. Pete for first time since accepting Democratic nomination for governor

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