As It Stands, Governor DeSantis Is in Good Shape for 2022

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and wife Casey at his election-night party in Orlando, Fla., November 6, 2018. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Florida elections are always close. There are eighteen months between now and the midterms. And nobody knows what changes to the political landscape we will see between now and then. But . . . things look pretty good for Governor DeSantis’s re-election campaign.

Per a Cherry Communications poll, released today, DeSantis’s approval-disapproval rating is 55-40. His net approval rating with independent voters is +20. His approval-disapproval rating on vaccine distribution is 70-26, with 74 percent of independents and 48 percent of Democrats saying he’s done good job getting people inoculated. If anything, Florida polls tend to underestimate Republican support.

Even more encouraging for DeSantis are the head-to-head numbers for next year’s re-election campaign. DeSantis leads Charlie Crist by ten points, 51-41; he leads Nikki Fried by 12 points, 51-39; and he leads Val Demings by 15 points, 53-38. There’s a lot of room there for the Democrat nominee to grow into. But still. I know who I’d rather be at this point in the cycle.

Prior to COVID, DeSantis was putting up remarkable approval numbers — of 65, 68, even 72 percent. The partisan reaction to the pandemic has clearly hurt him among Democrats (although not so much that they’re pretending that he’s messed up vaccine distribution), but it doesn’t seem to have dented him a great deal among independents. And if he can add the enthusiasm we’re seeing among Republicans to a majority of independents, he’ll be governor once again.

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