The Phoenix Flyer

First poll of governor’s race shows Andrew Gillum up over Ron DeSantis by 5 points

By: - August 30, 2018 3:49 pm
Andrew Gillum

The first major survey of the upcoming gubernatorial race in Florida shows Democrat Andrew Gillum leading Republican Ron DeSantis by five points, 48 percent to 43 percent, with nine percent not sure.

The poll comes on the heels of Gillum’s primary victory – which no pollster predicted.

The survey by Public Policy Polling of 743 Florida voters was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and shows that voters are more favorable to Gillum, the 39-year-old Tallahassee Mayor who stunned the nation with his upset victory on Tuesday night to become the Democratic nominee for Governor of Florida.

Of those polled, 45 percent gave Gillum a favorable rating, 27 percent gave him an unfavorable rating, and 28 percent were uncertain.

Voters polled gave Republican DeSantis a 41 percent favorable rating and a 45 percent unfavorable rating. Only 14 percent say they’re not sure about DeSantis – a 39-year-old conservative Republican from the Jacksonville are who has the strong support of President Trump.

Among independents, who some analysts say will be crucial since there are more non-party-affiliated voters than ever in Florida, Gillum was the favorite, leading DeSantis by 34 points, with 59 percent approving of Gillum and 25 percent supporting DeSantis.

There is also a strong gender gap revealed in the poll. Voters were asked which candidate they favored. Of that group, 56 percent of the women polled approved of Gillum, and 35 percent disapproved. Among men, 52 percent favored DeSantis, and 29 percent disapproved of him.

The poll also shows Republican Ashley Moody – who is running for Attorney General against Democrat Sean Shaw – has a 44 percent to 41 percent lead over Shaw.

The race for the U.S. Senate is almost a dead heat, the poll found, with Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson leading Republican Rick Scott by a single point, 46 percent to 45 percent.

That’s the first poll in recent weeks showing Nelson leading in the race, albeit very narrowly. Most recent polls have shown Scott with a slight lead in the contest.

The survey also shows that among those polled, 46 percent approve of Trump and 49 percent disapprove of him, with five percent unsure.

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.