Poll: Rep. Charlie Crist Emerges as Frontrunner in Florida’s Democrat Gubernatorial Primary

Florida Governor Charlie Crist looks on during a press conference after thanking workers helping Haitian victims of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince transition through the Miami International Airport on February 1, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Governor spoke about the confusion surrounding some reports that the state of Florida had refused …
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Florida Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) currently leads in Florida’s Democrat gubernatorial primary race, a GBAO Strategies/Crist internal survey released Wednesday found.

The internal survey found Crist with a “commanding lead” in the Democrat primary for governor, leading challenger Nikki Fried (D), Florida’s commissioner of agriculture, by double digits, 54 percent to 28 percent. State Sen. Annette Taddeo (D), who served as Crist’s running mate in his failed 2014 gubernatorial bid, comes in third place with just seven percent support. Overall, 11 percent remain undecided:

Further, the survey found Crist leading among black voters, specifically, garnering 61 percent to Fried’s 23 percent. White voters also support him, 54 percent to Fried’s six percent. 

Liberals and progressives support Crist over Fried 48 percent to 33 percent, and Crist, a former Republican, leads among moderates, 59 percent to Fried’s 25 percent. 

Per the survey: 

Crist also leads in every region of the state. He enjoys the support of 56% of voters in the I-4 corridor compared to 24% for Fried and 7% for Taddeo. He wins the Miami metro area with 52% vs. 29% for Fried and 13% for Taddeo. Crist leads in the Palm Beach area with 50% vs. 32% for Fried and 3% for Taddeo. Crist dominates in southwest Florida with 66% of the vote vs. 26% for Fried and 4% for Taddeo. And in North Florida, Crist leads with 45% vs. 34% for Fried and 8% for Taddeo.

The survey, taken January 26-31, 2022, among 800 likely Democrat primary voters in Florida, has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent. 

Crist served as Florida’s governor from 2007 to 2011, ultimately leaving the GOP, proclaiming that Republicans were “perceived now as being anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-education, [and] anti-environment.”

“No, I left the Republican party because Republican leadership went off the cliff,” Crist said in a 2014 interview. “They’re so hard right now they won’t cooperate with the president on anything.”

Recently, Crist, who could potentially challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), essentially compared the Florida governor to “Castro or Maduro.” This followed his challenger Nikki Fried comparing DeSantis, the pro-freedom governor consistently scrutinized by the establishment, to Adolf Hitler. 

Despite that, poll after poll shows DeSantis leading his potential challengers in the midterms. Most recently, a Suffolk University/USA Today poll published this week found the Florida governor leading Crist 49 percent to 43 percent.

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