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Florida Voters From Both Parties Undecided on Gubernatorial Race

March 7, 2018 - 4:30pm
Adam Putnam, Gwen Graham and Ron DeSantis
Adam Putnam, Gwen Graham and Ron DeSantis

A new poll shows Florida voters remain undecided about who they want to replace term limited Gov. Rick Scott in November. 

St. Leo University released a new poll looking at the gubernatorial race on Wednesday.  

When the top candidates from both parties were pitted against each other, almost half of those surveyed--45 percent--remain undecided while 22 percent back Republican state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam while 18 percent prefer former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Fla., and 14 percent opt for other candidates. 

Frank Orlando, the director of  Saint Leo University Polling Institute and a political science at Saint Leo University in Pasco County, said voters simply aren’t focused on the gubernatorial race. 

"It's tough to tell a lot from the early head-to-head results, other than voters still have not given their full attention to the race," Orlando said.

The poll shows Putnam with a narrow lead in the GOP primary but 46 percent of Republicans remain undecided. Putnam takes 15 percent of Florida Republicans but U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., who has the support of President Donald Trump, is right on his heels with 14 percent. State House Speaker Richard Corcoran takes 7 percent while Bob White, the leader of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, pulls 5 percent. Former state Sen. Jack Latvala, who resigned after facing accusations of sexual harassment, gets 3 percent while Bruce Nathan and Angel Luis Rivera each take 2 percent and 5 percent back other candidates. 

Orlando said he expected “the focus won't be completely on this race” until the end of the legislative session which has been extended as legislators grapple with the budget. 

“Putnam seems to have a very slight early advantage, but DeSantis is hoping to tap into the Trump vote on the way to the nomination,” Orlando said. 

Half of Florida Democrats--50 percent--are undecided while Graham gets the support of 17 percent of them. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum follows with 10 percent while former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine takes 8 percent. Businessman Chris King gets 7 percent while Jeff Greene, a businessman who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010 but who is not an active gubernatorial candidates, gets 5 percent. Other candidates get 3 percent. 

"Gwen Graham has the name ID advantage but Gillum and Philip Levine from Miami Beach are working to close the name ID gap, with Levine in particular blanketing the state in advertisements,” Orlando said. 

 The poll sampled opinions of 500 Florida respondents. The survey was conducted February 18 through February 24, 2018. All surveys were conducted using an online survey instrument. The poll has a +/- 4.5 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level on a composite basis. 


I didn't read that any of the candidates was a champion of the private sector worker who, unlike his government worker counterpart, has no guaranteed pay-hikes, abundant days off, health plan, pension, or work-rules to die for, and life-time job security. This travesty should be a major issue to every candidate.

DeSantis is currently my Congressman. He never cared about our district, he only came here for photo ops. I would never vote for him.

My thinking is aligned with 'Army Ops Vet" (and thank you for your service). If we learned anything from the 2016 elections, it was polls are terribly skewed 'mainstream', fail to account for certain demographic groups preferences and their sampling techniques are indeed suspect. Independents may not vote in primaries but, they still may have an opinion on the worthiness of the party candidates running.. So why exclude them if you want to capture as close to the real pulse of the community, that is, unless you have a hidden agenda for achieving a certain outcome

Yup,..."Gwennie" has the "name ID advantage.." Just ask anyone up in the panhandle in "District 2" about "Nepotistic Gwennie": Her ONE term there was an abject failure before she "threw in the towel" and went home to "raise her family"....(You ALL know, and have heard, THAT "plaintive cry" when the "going gets tough, and 'someone' is in over their head" and/or mentally focusing on a "potentially higher, opportunistic, position (like Dad's) in the Tallahassee 'Governor's seat")... "Gwennie" DOES know her way around THAT office !... After all, "Old Bob" bounced her on his knee on every "Bring your Daughter to work Day" opportunity (and she DOES indeed recognize any and all "opportunities",.. WHENEVER they're "handed to her" ! ) "Walmart checkout register"?....Maybe: "Governor"?.. NO WAY ! ANYONE who wants to rehabilitate "Gwennie's" failed "political sojourn" has NO real love for Florida (other than to euphemistically, and possibly see a female in that "Governor's seat... keeping it shined..) As for me??? I'll wait for a "first female" Governor who possesses the requisite qualifications (other than "nepotistic bounces" on Daddy's knee from time to time on "visits" to "Daddy's "work" )!

too early to tell... not much known here, would take Opie all day over the Trump sell out... Dems do not excite at this point...

Putnam is a young hard-working go-getter. He will keep the Socialists from taking over our beautiful state. As for SOUTH Florida - that's where the retired, rich New Yorkers live --- and they don't even KNOW what "Florida" is! Those from Cuba, Mexico, (ALL Hispanics) want to escape from - THEY want FREEDOM too!

Stop being a bootlicker, Socialism will win.

Pasco County in wrong Counties...Majority other Counties are for Desantis...Hoorah....You want know that Cause The Shadow Voters of Florida dont do polls ..Just like Trump voters of Florida...So keep doing your Joking Polls ...& see reaction in 2018....You Be Blind Sided Again

Army Ops Vet: i like the polls only to read about mainstream political thinking this early in the game as a thing to do. BUT, i very much agree with you that the "shadow voters of Florida" quit doing polls a long time ago and many will be surprised by the 2018 outcome in Florida and across the US. call me an army vet also.

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