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FL-Gov: St. Pete Poll Shows A Toss Up Race With Ron DeSantis (R) & Nikki Fried (D) At 45-45

5 min read

Here’s some big news out of Florida:

Should Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried run for Florida Governor, she starts in a statistical tie with Gov. Ron DeSantis.

That’s according to a new survey by St. Pete Polls, commissioned exclusively for Florida Politics.The poll found the incumbent Republican Governor and the potential Democratic challenger both taking about 45% of the vote. A close look shows DeSantis winning 45.2% to Fried’s 44.6%, a difference far smaller than the survey’s 2.2% margin of error.

The poll finds DeSantis holding 76% Republican support, while Fried has less than 72% among Democrats, showing the incumbent performing better with his own base. But 46% of independents favor Fried, compared to 42% who prefer DeSantis.

As one of the first publicly released head-to-head polls on the potential matchup, the results suggest another nail-biter election in Florida’s future.

To give you some context, here’s the last poll to come out of Florida on this race:

It remains to be seen if Fried will run against DeSantis but she certainly has been making a name for herself and been very vocal on some very important issues. Like voting rights:

Bills to restrict vote-by-mail and tighten other voting rules are racist, voter suppression attempts, a coalition of Black pastors, voting groups, and others including Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried charged Thursday.

Fried joined the Equal Ground Action Fund protest and news conference on the steps of the Old Capitol Thursday. She and other speakers denounced SB 90 from Ocala Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley and HB 7041 from Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, a Spring Hill Republican, and urged the sponsors to withdraw the legislation.

Fried said the Legislature “is doing everything it can to suppress votes.”

“What this bill does is silence those voices. This bill does nothing good. It silences people who need a voice,” Fried said. “We must stand united to fight for this freedom.”

Fried, the only statewide elected Democrat, did not explicitly charge that the bills were racist. But others at the event did, saying the bills’ purpose is to suppress voting in communities of color, voters who tend to support Democrats.

And legalizing marijuana:

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried was among those on a launch call Thursday held by WISE Florida, a group of working moms advocating for legalized adult-use cannabis.

While medical marijuana is permitted in Florida with physician recommendation, so-called recreational pot is not. And even the medical product is under threat, with legislation pending to cap THC at levels below those commonly found in today’s commercially available medical product.

Fried, described at times as “the Queen of Green,” is the most pro-cannabis statewide leader in Florida history.

As she has since she launched her political career, Fried made a strong case for the economic, practical, and moral case to legalize cannabis as a new group of canna-advocates launched formally.

Fried, speaking in support of the group, acknowledged her history in the industry, but described her “passion” for medical cannabis as having flowered after talking to patients who, time and time again, saw their lives improved by the plant’s palliative properties.

And she’s been getting under DeSantis’ skin on this:

In a statement, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she “appreciates that the governor is following President Biden’s directive last week to make all adults 18 and older eligible for vaccinations.”
Fried, a potential Democratic candidate for governor next year, has been a constant critic of DeSantis’ COVID-19 policies.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last March, the virus has infected more than 2 million Floridians and killed nearly 33,000.

Some more context here:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced plans to open Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to people who are at least 18 years old, one week after criticizing a Democratic mayor for lowering the age requirement.

In a news release and video, DeSantis stated that there will be enough shots for younger residents since 70 percent of seniors in Florida have been immunized against the coronavirus. Beginning March 29, DeSantis will lower the age of vaccine eligibility to 40, and then one week later will drop it to adults 18 and older.

“While the Biden administration set a May 1st target date for vaccine eligibility for all adults, Florida is pleased to announce that all adults in the state age 18 and older will be eligible for the vaccine beginning Monday, April 5th,” DeSantis stated. “We have made great progress and I look forward to continuing to work hard to make sure everyone in Florida who wants a shot, can get a shot.”

More than 5.2 million Floridians were vaccinated as of early Wednesday, and DeSantis has said more doses will become available over the next few weeks as demand drops among younger residents. His vaccine distribution plan gave top priority in December to frontline health care workers, nursing home residents, and seniors aged 65 and older, and some parts of the state saw demand drop several weeks ago.

Fried will have to make her decision soon but whether she takes on DeSantis or runs for re-election, we need to have her back. In the mean time, let’s help Florida Democrats get ready to fight back. Click below to donate and get involved with the Florida Democratic Party and Remove Ron PAC:

Florida Democratic Party

Remove Ron PAC

Also, just received this e-mail from Fried’s campaign:

Yesterday, we received some encouraging news: a new poll shows me neck and neck with Governor DeSantis in a hypothetical matchup for Governor.
Although I haven’t made a decision about running yet, this is promising news. It shows that our efforts to hold the Governor accountable for his corruption, his failures on COVID, and his blind loyalty to Donald Trump have been effective.

Most of all, it shows how important your support has been—because of you, we’ve been able to speak out and stand up for what’s right.

We can’t let up—especially now. As I write this, Governor DeSantis and the legislature are trying to cap THC levels in medical marijuana, limit voting rights, and criminalize protesters. We need to stand strong against this dangerous agenda. Click here to chip in now and support our work.

As the only Democrat to win statewide in Florida since 2012, I know how to bring people together against harmful policies and corrupt leadership.
Thanks to your support, I’m hopeful about our future. In the wake of this challenging year, we’re going to heal together and build a stronger Florida for everyone.

We can’t let our guard down now. Click here to make a donation today and help us continue standing up for what’s right.

We’ve accomplished so much together already. Thank you so much for your continued support.

—Nikki

Click here to donate to Fried’s campaign.

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