Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is on track for re-election, leading Democrat challenger Charlie Crist by 11 percentage points in the latest Florida Atlantic University poll.
The poll comes off of solid approval ratings, particularly for DeSantis' response to Hurricane Ian. DeSantis leads Crist 51-40% in the survey conducted of registered voters by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative.
The Republican incumbent's approval rating was 53%, with his response to the hurricane garnering 63% approval. Nearly 67% of respondents expect DeSantis to be reelected, as well.
The survey of 719 Floridians revealed the most pressing of issues to be inflation, by a wide margin of 36%. Next were threats to democracy which received 19%. Only 9% felt abortion to be the most important of issues.
Senate races found Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., leading challenger Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., 48% to 42%, with 60% of respondents anticipating Rubio to be reelected.
"If these numbers hold, Florida's status as a battleground state might be in question," Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., a professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow, said.
Wagner noted younger voters leaned Democrat but would require a higher turnout to close the gaps in either race.
The poll also found respondents favored DeSantis and former President Donald Trump over President Joe Biden in a hypothetical 2024 matchup. DeSantis led 48% to 42% against Biden, and Trump led 45% to 41%.
Biden's approval rating was 41%, while 50% approve of the job he has done as president.
There were 34% who said the recent FBI raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago makes them less likely to support the former president if he were to run again. A third of respondents said the search would make them more likely to support Trump.
The survey was conducted between Oct. 12-16. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.65 percentage points. The poll was weighted according to the demographics based on 2020 turnout modeling.
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