Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla. opened an 11-point lead over Democrat challenger Charlie Crist in Florida's gubernatorial race, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
DeSantis leads Crist, a former governor and ex-U.S. House member, 52% to 41%, according to the Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy survey, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Only 6% said they were undecided.
Among unaffiliated voters, DeSantis has a 13-point advantage, 52% to 39%.
The poll was conducted before Hurricane Ian slammed Florida’s southwest coast and devastated the state's Lee County.
"It will be important to see if he [DeSantis] can maintain or improve it in the coming weeks, as his leadership will be tested by state attempts to repair and recover from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Ian," Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy Managing Director Brad Coker wrote, the Sentinel reported.
Coker said DeSantis leads throughout the state, with the exception of the Democrat stronghold of South Florida. Coker said DeSantis has large cushions among men, white voters, and people aged 50 and above.
DeSantis holds a 26-point lead among men, and Crist has a 3-point advantage with women.
The Republican also leads by 17 points with voters 50-plus, and by 4 points with voters younger than 50.
DeSantis' job approval rating, which was 53% in 2021, stands at 55%. His disapproval rating remains at 42%.
Crist has an unfavorable rating of 39%, with 33% favorable and 22% neutral, the survey found.
DeSantis and Crist are scheduled to meet Oct. 12 in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Oct. 12 for their only debate.
The Mason-Dixon survey also showed other Florida Republicans running statewide holding double-digit leads over their Democrat opponents.
Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody leads Democratic challenger Aramis Ayala, the former Orange-Osceola state attorney, 50%-37%. Republican Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis leads Democratic challenger Adam Hattersley 47%-37%, the Sentinel reported.
Republican Wilton Simpson leads Democrat Naomi Esther Blemur 47%-34% in the open race for agriculture commissioner to succeed Democrat Nikki Fried.
The Mason-Dixon poll was conducted Sept. 26-28 among 800 registered and likely Florida voters. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
The newspaper reported Tuesday that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., holds a 47% to 41% edge over Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., according to the Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy survey.
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