A new poll shows a close contest as Florida voters decide who will take the place of term limited Gov. Rick Scott.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce released a poll on Wednesday which shows Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democrat, with a slight lead over former Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis.
Gillum takes 47 percent of likely voters while DeSantis gets 43 percent. Other candidates have the support of 2 percent of those surveyed while 8 percent remain undecided. Outside of Jacksonville, which is close to the district DeSantis represented for the better part of six years in Congress, Gillum leads in every media market.
Marian Johnson, the Florida Chamber’s senior vice president of political strategy, weighed in on the poll results.
“Politically speaking, this is an interesting poll because most voters have learned a little about Ron DeSantis, yet most voters don’t know Andrew Gillum because he is a surprise winner and the most liberal of the Democrats on the ballot that ran in the primary election,” she said. “It’s going to be interesting to see if Gillum, who is backing policies opposed by Bill Nelson, yet supported by Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and George Soros will hold onto this lead while voters begin to understand his background and policies, or if Ron DeSantis and his policies will continue gaining popularity and propel him to succeed Governor Scott as Florida’s next governor. The election is more than 50 days away and that’s a lifetime in Florida politics.”
Almost half of the voters surveyed--48 percent--think Florida is headed in the right direction while 37 believe the Sunshine State is on the wrong track.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on September 6 – 9, 2018 by Cherry Communications during live telephone interviews of likely voters, and has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent. The sample size included 210 Democrats, 205 Republicans and 99 Others for a total of 514 respondents statewide. Voters were called both on cell phones and landlines with 67 percent reached via cell phone and 33 percent via landline. The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber are consistently drawn from likely voters and newly registered voters, meaning those voters who have the propensity and past performance of voting in elections, rather than simply including registered voters. Voters are again screened for likelihood of voting.