https://hotair.com/ed-morrissey/2022/08/16/boom-new-florida-poll-puts-desantis-up-20-points-among-hispanics-n490070

The midterm red wave may have crested elsewhere, but it doesn’t appear to have tapped out in Florida — at least not in the latest University of North Florida survey. Their latest poll, released this morning, shows Nikki Fried edging out Charlie Crist for the gubernatorial nomination in the August 23rd primary. However, both of them trail incumbent Ron DeSantis significantly overall and especially in one key demo:

Registered Democrats who are likely to vote in the August 23 primary election were asked their vote choices for the Democratic nominees for Florida Governor and U.S. Senate. A respondent is considered a “likely” voter if they said they would definitely vote, or had already voted in the primary. In the Governor’s race, 47% said they would vote for Nikki Fried, followed by 43% for Charlie Crist; Cadance Daniel and Robert Willis had 4% and 1%, respectively; 6% didn’t know or refused to answer.  …

Registered voters who said they would vote in the general midterm election were asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, and the candidates were Ron DeSantis and Nikki Fried. Fifty percent of respondents said they would vote for DeSantis, with 43% indicating a vote for Fried, and 5% said they would vote for someone else. DeSantis also came out on top with 50% when asked the same question if the Democratic candidate was Charlie Crist, who had 42%, and 6% saying they would vote for someone else.

Interestingly, the +7 and +8 leads are among the thinner margins for DeSantis of late in the head-to-heads against Fried. His RCP aggregate lead over Fried is now 9.6 points with this polling data included. Crist has been more of a challenge to DeSantis, although DeSantis’ RCP aggregate lead is still 6.2 points over Crist. The somewhat narrow margins remind us that while Florida is turning red, it’s not a slam-dunk. Yet, anyway.

That could still be changing if one demographic shift is accurate:

How reliable are these numbers, though? A subsample of 153 respondents isn’t a bad size, but it’s still subject to a larger margin of error. The overall MoE for this poll is reported as ±3.4%; a quick calculation using a generic formula for a sample size equal to Hispanic respondents in this poll puts the MoE at around 5%.

Even if the MoE is larger than that — and it probably should be — this still looks significant in terms of an electoral shift from Hispanics. This may be only limited to DeSantis’ support, however. DeSantis gets a very strong approval-rating response from Hispanics, 59/36, with 50% strongly approving of his performance. In comparison, Senator Rick Scott only gets 44/40 and 33% strongly approving, and midterm incumbent Marco Rubio 45/42 with 31% strongly approving.

One other demo matters for DeSantis, too: women. Fried has rallied from behind Crist to take the lead for the primary, and the UNF pollster credits this to the recent overturning of Roe v Wade:

“Fried seems to have reversed the eight-point lead that Crist had when we asked registered Democrats about vote choice in February,” commented Dr. Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and UNF professor of political science. “It’s possible that the overturning of Roe v. Wade changed the make-up of this race, and has particularly energized women that are almost 20 points more likely to vote for her.”

If so, it hasn’t had a large effect on the overall general-election choice. DeSantis edges Crist 46/44 among women in the H2H, while Fried only barely tops DeSantis 47/46. That makes the Hispanic bump even more significant.

Not all of the news from UNF was happy for the GOP, however. Most have assumed that Marco Rubio should coast past Val Demings for the Senate seat, but Demings comes out narrowly on top in this poll:

Could Rubio lose a Senate seat in an election cycle where DeSantis leads by almost double digits against Fried? It seems unlikely, but … Granted, this is an outlier in the RCP aggregate, but it’s also the first H2H poll in this race in months. It also has Rubio only scoring 36% among indies and just 48% among men, so it looks like a strange result. However, it might be time for the GOP and its campaign arms to consider shoring up Rubio, and soon … or to get more polling on this race.

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