Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leads his challenger, former Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist, by three percentage points, 50% to 47%, a new statewide AARP poll found.
The only four demographic groups among which Crist led DeSantis were all likely voters aged 18-49, women over 18, Black voters over age 50 and voters with a college degree.
In the Senate race, GOP Sen. Marco Rubio leads Rep. Val Demings by two points, 49% to 47%, among likely voters in the state. Demings holds a lead over Rubio among the same demographic groups that Crist leads over DeSantis.
Among all four candidates, DeSantis holds the most favorable image among voters, the survey found: 51% of all likely voters hold a favorable view of DeSantis, while only 43% of respondents say the same about Crist.
And 44% of those surveyed say they have a favorable view of Rubio, while 42% say the same about Demings.
The races in Florida have heated up in the last few weeks, as candidates advanced past the Aug. 23 primary. In the Senate race, Demings released a new ad Wednesday blasting Rubio for his stance on abortion. In recent weeks, he's attacked her on the airwaves over crime and her closeness to President Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Neither of those issues — crime or abortion — were in the top four issues that voters over 50 selected as the issue most important in the AARP Florida poll, which was conducted by the GOP firm Fabrizio Ward & and the Democratic firm Impact Research.
Their top issues were "inflation and rising prices," "Social Security and Medicare," and "taxes, government spending and debt." Abortion was ranked the fifth-most selected issue and crime was the 11th-most selected issue.
The AARP poll was conducted via landline, cellphone and text-to-web surveys of 1,626 likely Florida voters from August 24-August 31. The statewide representative sample included 500 likely voters, an oversample of 550 likely voters over age 50 and an oversample of 262 Hispanic voters over age 50. The margin of error for the 500 statewide likely voter sample is ±4.4%.