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2 polls, 1 week to go: Democrats Fried up in one, Crist another ahead of Florida primary

Both trail incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The only numbers that actually count are those on the Aug. 23 primary but, until then, we look to polls for the pulse of the race — and two dueling surveys show Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist each claiming victory to earn the Democratic nomination for Florida governor.

Fried, the current commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, touts a 4-point lead over the former governor and U.S. Rep. Crist in a poll commissioned by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida.

Her lead is outside the poll's margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. It was conducted online from Aug. 8-12 of likely primary voters. Florida is a closed primary state, meaning people registered to a political party are only allowed to vote for candidates of that party.

Politico notes the same polling firm found that Crist had a lead over Fried earlier this year when voters were asked about their Democratic choice for governor. 

"Fried seems to have reversed the eight-point lead that Crist had when we asked registered Democrats about vote choice in February," Dr. Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and UNF professor of political science, said in a statement. "It’s possible that the overturning of Roe v. Wade changed the make-up of this race, and has particularly energized women that are almost 20 points more likely to vote for her."

The Crist campaign released the results of its poll — one taken internally by Change Research. It showed Crist with a 10-point lead, one well outside the margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points. 

Responses were received online from Aug. 12-14 from registered Democrats who say there's a chance they'll vote in the primary election, the poll says.

"The UNF poll is clearly an outlier. Between public polls and our own internal polls, Nikki Fried at this stage of the race has no path to victory barring a black swan event. And her team also knows that," campaign spokesperson Samantha Ramirez said in a statement.

The Democrat winner of the Aug. 23 Florida primary faces Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in November and whether it's Crist or Fried who comes out on top, both trail the incumbent, according to the University of North Florida poll.

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