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Florida Republicans Expand Lead Over Democratic Rivals In New Poll

Chris Agee
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With just a month left until Election Day, recent polls have shown a surge in support for GOP candidates in battleground states across the nation.

That trend is particularly clear in Florida, where the incumbent Republican candidates for governor and U.S. Senate have expanded their respective leads over Democratic challengers.

According to a Spectrum News/Siena College survey conducted before Hurricane Ian made landfall in the Sunshine State, Gov. Ron DeSantis boasted an eight-point lead over rival former U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL).

Crist, who previously served one term as a GOP Florida governor, lost a Senate bid while running as an independent, and lost a gubernatorial campaign after becoming a Democrat, has denounced his opponent’s supporters and explicitly refused to give them a reason to potentially vote for him.

“Those who support the governor should stay with him and vote for him,” he said in August. “I don’t want your vote.”

It appears from the latest polling results that he has gotten his wish as he trails DeSantis by a 49% to 41% margin. 

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is performing nearly as well as the governor, leading U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) 48% to 41% in his re-election bid. 

While the GOP has long been favored to regain control of the House of Representatives, recent rallies by Republican Senate candidates appear to have strengthened the party’s chances of winning a majority in both chambers.

In the recent poll, 39% of respondents said they would rather see Congress controlled by Republicans — compared to 31% who would rather see a Democratic-controlled legislature and 21% who think power should be split between the two parties.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) cited two Senate races in particular this week when he predicted that his party would control the chamber during the next congressional session.

“I think the Republicans will gain seats in the Senate just as I think they will gain a lot of seats in the House,” he said during a Fox News Channel appearance on Monday.

Noting the strong showings in recent days by the GOP candidates in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Gingrich said that Republicans appear poised to secure a Senate majority. Specifically, he referenced the soft-on-crime agenda of Democratic candidates Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin and John Fetterman in Pennsylvania as a factor that plays into the GOP’s hands.