Rumors are swirling that Florida’s 44th Governor, then a Republican, might enter the 2022 gubernatorial race, this time as a Democrat.
“U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist has opened a political committee named ‘Friends of Charlie Crist,’ which would allow him to start raising money for a 2022 state-level election,” one recent report said.
Crist served as the state’s Republican governor from 2007 to 2011. He switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat in 2012, after he was snubbed by the GOP in a 2010 Senate race in favor of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), during the height of the Tea Party movement. In 2014, he ran for governor as a Democrat, and he was defeated by former Gov. Rick Scott (R), who alongside Rubio, is now Florida’s other U.S. Senator.
Crist was elected to the U.S. House as a Democrat representing Florida’s 13th District in 2016. He has been a sitting member of Congress since.
But now he may be poised to attempt to reclaim his mantle as the state’s top elected official, this time by running against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
But polling from earlier this year shows DeSantis holding a comfortable lead against potential challengers, including Crist.
A Mason-Dixon poll of 625 registered voters between February 24 and February 28 found that 52 percent of those polled said they would vote for DeSantis, and only 41 percent said they would vote for Crist. Seven percent said they were undecided.
“The poll finds that voters are split along predictable party lines, but that DeSantis has more support from Independent voters statewide against Crist (60%) and Fried (58%),” News 6 reported. “Not surprisingly, 63% of North Florida voters said they’d vote for DeSantis, compared to 31% who would vote for Crist, with a remaining 6% undecided.”
The same poll asked respondents who they would vote for in a race between Democrat Nikki Fried, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and DeSantis.
Fried fared only a bit better than Crist, with 51 percent of respondents saying they would vote for DeSantis, 42 percent saying they would vote for Fried, and 6 percent saying they were undecided.
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