With COVID Taking Center Stage, Rubio is Winning and DeSantis is Losing

August 22, 2021

Immediate Release:

In a recent poll of 1000 likely Florida voters, we have seen a huge swing from previous polls 8 weeks earlier.  With the new surge of Covid, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio ( R) is maintaining his lead against democratic challenger Val Demmings (55%-45%).  However, when it comes to the other races, we see a dramatic shift in the voters take on Governor Ron DeSantis’ handling of the pandemic as well as how he has lost a great deal of traction versus both Democrat opponents.  When you look at the data on the following pages you will see that, as of today, the two democrat contenders (Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried) are stronger with their own party base than Ron DeSantis is with the Republican base. 

First, when rating the handling of the Pandemic, DeSantis has 53.8% having either an unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion on how he is handling the overall pandemic.  However, when you break it out by party lines, we see Republicans are still strongly supportive of his actions with 66.2% having a combined favorable and very favorable opinion of his handling of the situation.  Click Here for Full Report.

What is your opinion on Governor Ron DeSantis’ handling of the overall Covid 19 Pandemic?
Responses: 1000 TotaOverall %
 1. Very Favorable271 27.1%
 2. Favorable162 16.2%
 3. unfavorable200 20.0%
 4. Very Unfavorable 338 33.8%
 5. No Opinion29 2.9%

Next, we see a complete flip from 8 weeks ago with, today, Charlie Crist leading DeSantis 56.7% to 43.3%. What seems to be the biggest part is the amount of grasp each has within their party.  With Democrats we see Crist having 89.8% of his base whereas with the Republicans we see DeSantis only taking 74.7% of the GOP responders. 

If the election for governor were held today, who would you choose between Ron DeSantis or Charlie Crist?
Responses: 1000Total Overall %
 1. Charlie Crist567 56.7%
 2. Ron DeSantis433 43.3%

Additionally, when looking at a race between Nikki Fried and Ron DeSantis, we see that same scenario with energizing their own party.  Between then Fried gains 82.9% of Democratic voters as compared to 74.9% of Republican voters choosing DeSantis. 

If the election was between Ron DeSantis or Nikki Fried, who would you choose?
Responses: 1000Total Overall %
 1. Ron DeSantis463 46.3%
 2. Nikki Fried537 53.7%

Here when we looked at the race for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio ( R), we see that he is maintaining is lead across all party platforms. Overall Rubio has 54.9% while having nearly 53% of the democratic votes in this poll.  A great deal of this, though, might be that the opponent, Demmings, has not secured the Florida Democratic voice as of at this time.

 If the election for United States Senate was today, and your choices were Sen. Marco Rubio, or Congresswoman Val Demmings; who would you choose?
Responses: 1000Total Overall %
 1. Marco Rubio549 54.9%
 2. Val Demmings451 45.1%
If the election for United States Senate was today, and your choices were Sen. Marco Rubio, or Congresswoman Val Demmings; who would you choose?
Responses: 1000TotalCrosstab %Overall %
 Party Labels
 Democrat, Responses: 459
 1. Marco Rubio24152.5%24.1%
2. Val Demmings 21847.5%21.8%
 No Party Affiliation , Responses: 219
 1. Marco Rubio12155.3%12.1%
 2. Val Demmings9844.7%9.8%
 Republican, Responses: 322
 1. Marco Rubio18758.1%18.7%
 2. Val Demmings13541.9%13.5%


The persons sampled were Florida likely voters with a voting score of 100% for the primary and general election cycles. The voters called were those only with landlines and were called using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system and were called during the hours of 1PM to 8PM August 14-18, 2021. The Margin of Error for this study is +/- 3.1% with a confidence level of 95%.  


Starting as a call center and market research center in 1998; since 2010 TLG has been serving clients as a full-service Marketing Research, Advertising, Public Relations firm. If your success depends on other people—customers, clients, patients, readers, viewers, and voters in whatever role these people’s opinions of you matter—you need The Listener® Group.  Headquartered in Pensacola, we have developed a team that has placed us, continuously, as the most accurate political and public policy polling firm in the Southeastern United States. We deliver a comprehensive blend of market research and advertising products that work in concert to maximize the effectiveness of your message.  For more information you can contact Greg Fink at 850.384.7008 or greg@thelistenergroup.com

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