Gwen Graham and Philip Levine are running neck and neck in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, a new poll shows.
Mason Dixon released a poll on Tuesday morning showing almost half of Florida Democrats--49 percent--are undecided while 20 percent back Graham, who served a single term in Congress, and 17 percent are for Levine who just ended his tenure as mayor of Miami Beach. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum also breaks double digits with 10 percent. Orlando businessman Chris King lags behind with 4 percent.
The poll finds a gender gap as Levine takes 23 percent of men followed by Graham with 13 percent, Gillum with 7 percent and King with 5 percent. Women break Graham’s way with 25 percent of them backing her followed by 13 percent for Levine, 12 percent for Gillum and 3 percent for King. Graham leads among Democrats of all age groups.
White Democrats are divided with both Graham and Levine claiming 21 percent each followed by King with 7 percent and 3 percent for Gillum. The Tallahassee mayor leads black Democrats with 22 percent while 17 percent go for Graham, 13 percent opt for Levine and less than one half of one percent prefer King. Graham leads among Hispanic Democrats with 21 percent while 12 percent break to Levine, 11 percent support Gillum and less than one half of one percent back King.
Graham is running strongest in her North Florida home turf where she takes 28 percent followed by Gillum with 18 percent, Levine with 14 percent and King with 3 percent. The former congresswoman is also ahead on Central Florida with 18 percent followed by Gillum with 13 percent. King does best in Central Florida where he takes 12 percent with Levine right behind him at 11 percent.
Levine does better in other parts of the Sunshine State. In the Tampa Bay area and in Southwest Florida, Levine edges Graham 17 percent to 16 percent. The other two candidates are not running strongly there with both of them mired in the single digits as Gillum claims 5 percent and King claims 2 percent. The former Miami Beach mayor is also up in Southeast Florida with 22 percent followed by Graham with 19 percent, Gillum with 7 percent and King with 2 percent.
Graham, whose father served two terms as governor and three in the U.S. Senate, is the best known of the four candidates as 28 percent of Florida Democrats see her favorably, 2 percent see her as unfavorable, 35 percent are neutral about her and 35 percent are not familiar with her. Levine is seen in a favorable light by 17 percent of Florida Democrats while 3 percent view him unfavorably, 37 percent are neutral about him and 43 percent are not familiar with him. A clear majority of those surveyed--60 percent--are not familiar with Gillum while 13 percent view him as favorable, 3 percent see him unfavorably and 24 percent are neutral about him. King is easily the most unknown candidate in the Democratic primary with 78 percent of those surveyed not familiar with him while 5 percent see him as favorable, 1 percent views unfavorably and 16 percent are neutral about him.
The poll of 500 registered Florida Democrats was taken from Jan. 29-Feb. 1 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent.