Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has been surging to increasing leads over Democrat rival Charlie Crist in his bid for reelection this year, and a new liberal survey of Latino voters indicates his popularity is broad-based and widening further.
The Telemundo/LX News poll that was commissioned to Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy shows that DeSantis has a seven percentage point over Crist among Latino Floridians, 51% to 44%. It also indicates the GOP governor has a 56% approval rating among Sunshine State Latinos.
When asked specifically about the move by Gov. DeSantis to send two planeloads of illegal migrants to the liberal enclave Martha’s Vineyard, 50% agreed with the governor and 43% opposed the decision. Latinos who are immigrants to the U.S. supported the move by an even higher percentage, at 52% in favor.
DeSantis has grown his support among Latinos substantially, as he lost with the demographic in 2018 in his race against Democrat Andrew Gillum.
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 #FloridaStrong (@DeSantisWarRoom) October 24, 2022
Pollster Brad Coker worked on the survey for Mason-Dixon and told reporters that DeSantis’s “charisma and attitude” in office has won over many of the state’s Latino voters. He said that the style of being a “strong man who won’t back down” has appealed to “lots of Hispanic voters.”
Coker also pointed out that “Crist has no mojo.”
Coker added that Democrats across the nation are battling against the negative impact the Biden administration has had on the American economy. He said: “You can’t ignore the 800-pound gorilla: The economy sucks for a lot of people.” Since the midterm elections are often seen as a referendum on the sitting president, Democrats are coming up short.
GOP strategist Giancarlo Sopo told reporters this week that the Democratic Party has a fundamental misunderstanding of what Latino voters truly believe about immigration policy. He said many Democrats “think Hispanics like uncontrolled mass migration and they couldn’t be more wrong.”
The new poll was published just as DeSantis and Crist met for their only public debate on Monday evening. The wide-ranging debate covered genital mutilation of minors, supporting the right to life for unborn children, border security, the economy, and crime.
Crist appeared to consider DeSantis’s possible ambition toward a presidential run as a good line of attack. However, his efforts missed the mark. When pressed one time about the possibility of running against Joe Biden for the White House, DeSantis said: “The only worn-out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.”