Perhaps the most telling endorsement a person can provide is identifying who they turn to in a time of crisis and, as Hurricane Ian barreled down on the state of Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) stood a head above “defanged” former Rep. Charlie Crist (D) who, trailing by double digits, may be all but forgotten.
While round-the-clock coverage of the incoming storm had Democrats politicizing in an attempt to score points ahead of the midterms, DeSantis was coordinating a response and Floridians liked what they saw. According to a Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy survey conducted between Sept. 26 and Sept. 28, the incumbent is leading his challenger 52 to 41 percent.
The poll questioned 800 registered likely voters by telephone with a sample of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents making up 43, 38 and 19 percent of respondents respectively with a margin of error plus or minus 3.5 percent.
Mason-Dixon also found that DeSantis was sitting on a 55 percent approval rating by the time Ian had made landfall with only 42 percent of Floridians disapproving of his job performance. The governor’s numbers were nearly the inverse of President Joe Biden who had moved up slightly from his February tracking of 40/55 percent approval/disapproval to 42/54 percent.
New Mason-Dixon polling shows wider margins in Florida’s key races:
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Demings 41 pic.twitter.com/uliO1Erl07
— Ryan Elijah FOX 35 (@ryanelijah) October 5, 2022
Meanwhile, pollster Brad Coker suggested that, depending on how voters respond to DeSantis’ handling of the recovery effort, the hurricane has provided an unexpected boon in wiping Crist “completely out of the news.”
Coker explained that any negative press from flying illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard had been knocked down by the storm and, by his assessment, “I don’t think it was a problem, and, if it was, the hurricane just wiped it out.”
“DeSantis is going to be Governor Hurricane for the next couple weeks. The disadvantage Crist has is twofold: He’s completely out of the news, and he never managed a hurricane, so he can’t stand up and point to what he did. So Crist is totally, totally defanged,” he added.
There remained a considerable number of voters still undecided with weeks remaining before the election, but even at 52 percent of support as it currently stands, come November, DeSantis who had won his first campaign by about a half a percentage point is comfortably favored to win reelection with FiveThirtyEight currently giving America’s Governor a 92 percent chance at victory.
Outkick’s Clay Travis brought attention to DeSantis’ current margin and pointed out that if it were to somehow hold, “it would be the biggest Republican win in a statewide race in modern Florida history.”
Ron Desantis has opened up an 11 point lead in his bid for re-election according to a poll from Mason-Dixon research. He won election by less than a point in 2018. If he wins by 11 or more it would be the biggest Republican win in a statewide race in modern Florida history.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 5, 2022
Riding on DeSantis’ coattails, incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R) held a six point advantage over his challenger Rep. Val Demings (D) at 47 to 41 percent with about 16 percent of voters pointing out that they don’t even recognize her name compared to only one percent regarding Rubio.
Of those who did recognize the candidates, Rubio had 48 percent favorability compared to Demings’ 33 percent.
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