Florida Democratic candidate Charlie Crist is struggling to tread water as Republican incumbent Ron DeSantis draws high marks, according to a recent poll of nearly 700 likely voters.
According to a recent survey by Spectrum News and Siena College, 55 percent of respondents say Florida is on the “right track” under DeSantis.
That compares to just 34 percent who say the state is on the “wrong” track.
DeSantis’ lead on that question is even bigger among independent voters. Overall, 57 percent of those voters agree that Florida is moving in the right direction, compared to just 30 percent who disagree.
The spread in DeSantis’ favor was about the same regionally, even in traditionally liberal areas like Orlando and Miami, where 56 percent of voters in each community agreed with the “right track” assessment .
On a personal note, voters gave DeSantis a solid 50-43 score on his favorability rating.
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That included again majorities among voters in Miami and Orlando, as well as among Latinos and independent voters.
Crist, on the other hand, is underwater on the favorability question and seems to be struggling with his own voters.
The Spectrum-Siena poll found that Crist, a Clearwater Democrat, has a 34 percent approval rating overall, compared to a 39 percent disapproval score.
He is in serious trouble in Florida’s biggest metro areas. His best showing was in Miami, at just 41 percent, while his backing sunk to only 33 percent in Orlando and just 38 percent in Tampa.
Meanwhile, Crist, a former Republican governor, is struggling within his own party despite his avid embrace of leftist woke politics.
Just 71 percent of Democrats gave Crist favorable marks at this late stage of the race.
Remarkably, 20 percent of Democrats either don’t know about Crist or declined to respond to that question.
On the other hand, 93 percent of Republicans support DeSantis.
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And Crist is in huge trouble with independents. Only 27 percent of unaffiliated voters like him, while 41 percent of them don’t.
Considering that and DeSantis’ popularity with them, the GOP incumbent claims a favorability score among independents that doubles Crist’s — a key point given that they are the fastest-growing group of voters in Florida.
The findings of the Spectrum-Siena poll actually bode better for DeSantis than the average of all polling, as tracked by the website Real Clear Politics, which has the incumbent with an 8-point lead.