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Ron DeSantis, Gwen Graham Ahead in Florida Gubernatorial Primary Poll

July 25, 2018 - 5:30pm
Ron DeSantis and Gwen Graham
Ron DeSantis and Gwen Graham

With less than six weeks to go until the Florida gubernatorial primaries, a new poll shows U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., with the lead on the Republican side and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Fla., ahead with Democrats. 

DeSantis takes 36 percent of Florida Republicans with 27 percent backing state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. Bob White, the chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, takes 3 percent. So does veteran Bruce Nathan who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2016. Other candidates lag behind with less support as Ellen Wilds gets 2 percent, Tim Devine takes 1 percent and Armando Rivas pulls 1 percent. Almost a quarter--23 percent--of Florida Republicans remain undecided. 

Kevin Wagner, a political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative, said that President Donald Trump’s support has helped propel DeSantis into the lead. Trump will be heading to Tampa next week as he continues to back DeSantis. 

“President Trump’s backing of Congressman DeSantis appears to have pushed the congressman past the early favorite Adam Putnam in the Republican primary,” said Wagner. 

Over on the Democratic side, Graham pulls 20 percent while former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine takes 16 percent. Since entering the race at the start of June, billionaire Jeff Greene, who has been reaching into his fortune to run TV ads and mail pieces, has made a mark, taking 14 percent in the poll. Central Florida businessman Chris King gets 9 percent and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum takes 7 percent. Just under a third of Florida Democrats--31 percent--remain undecided. 

“It appears that the Greene candidacy is a game-changer in the race for the Democratic nomination,” said Monica Escaleras, the director of the BEPI. “In May, without Greene running, Levine and Graham were the front runners, now Greene is in the top tier of candidates.”

The survey, which polled 800 Florida registered voters July 20-21, was conducted using an online sample supplied by Survey Sampling International using online questionnaires and via an automated telephone platform (IVR) using registered voter lists supplied by Aristotle, Inc. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. The margin of error for the Democratic Primary is +/- 5.9 percentage points and for the Republican Primary is +/- 6.0 percentage points. Responses for the entire sample were weighted to reflect the statewide distribution of the Florida population. 


DeSantis is in the best position to be able to do the most effective, positive actions for FL as our new governor. The wave we'll see in November will be the Trump Wave not the Blue Wave the Dems hoped for.

Dream on, dearie.

Quite a climb for Mr. Impossible For Governor, Democrats Gwen Graham, 20 percent Philip Levine, 16 percent Jeff Greene, 14 percent Christopher King, 9 percent Andrew Gillum, 7 percent

No more Trumpnuts! They cause constipation!

"Nepotistic Gwennie" doesn't stand a chance ! The "Democrat choice" for a TRUE Contest...can ONLY involve "Gillum".....WAKE UP DEMOCRATS !

Will I see most of you at the Trump rally waving your confederate flags? Folks think Putnam and Graham are the only ones who can win in November. How did that work out for Jeb! and Hillary? To quote a British politician (Paddy Ashdown): "If you never vote for the candidate you really want you will never have the kind of government you want."

Ron Desantis was on Fox News last night attacking the FBI and supporting the move to impeach Rob Rosenstein. Trying to obstruct and derail the Mueller investigation may work with Trump diehards, but it will greatly disturb many Republicans, including me, all Democrats and almost all independents. In polls from yesterday, the vast majority of Americans support the Mueller investigation and say the FBI was just doing its job. If Desantis wins the primary, we Republicans will be delivering the Governor’s mansion to the Democrats. Rick Scott needs to tell the President to keep his nose out of the primary. Clearly, Trump fired the first shot in the Republican Party civil war and is clearly winning it now. Trump’s ship is taking on a lot of water. I don’t believe he cares whether he destroys the Florida Republican Party. Remember Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment—Thou shalt not speak ill of your fellow Republicans.

Most Americans are disgusted when they see people in government breaking the law and nothing happens (Rosenstein, Strok, Page, Clinton, Lynch, Comey, et al). Would be happy to vote for someone ready to hold them accountable.

Someone's really drunk on the Kool-Aid, wow. Your orange Cheeto god is the one who's breaking laws.

I think Florida voters want a change. We're tired of Big Sugar, Big Energy companies, and the NRA running things. We want solar energy, affordable health care for everyone, and teachers to be respected and paid properly. I think Gwen Graham or Phil Levine will bury either Putnam or DeSantis.

Graham is rat poison. Either GOP candidate will beat her. U can count on Dems implementing many dirty tricks.

DEMS implementing dirty tricks???? Please give me a moment to stop laughing, pal.

Hope you're right!

Congressman DeSantis has the political acumen,intellectual honesty as well as personal honesty to keep Florida in a upward trajectory.

If you think this is an "upward trajectory," I would ask you on what planet do you spend most of your time?


OMG a poll shows "DeSantis takes 36 percent of Florida Republicans with 27 percent backing state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam." Reminds me of the polls showing Hillary winning all the way up to 9:37PM on election eve. My money is on Putnam because of the genius pollsters.

Putnam is a flunkie that Big Sugar and the Establishment own. As more of his screwups are revealed, he will go further into the toilet!

Putnam's 10 yrs in the US Congress are a disaster for him now, as the record shows him to be a go along to get along republican .. weak on immigration. His time as Agriculture boss in Tallahassee reveals more of the same, as he has danced to the tune of Big Sugar. No Thanks

Joe is infirmed.

If DeSantis wins the GOP nomination, Republicans can kiss the governorship goodbye! DeSantis may have some qualifications to be serving in DC, but he has no idea how to run a State! His poll numbers would be in the dumps but for his Fox News buddies Hannity and Levin, and now Trump. He’s nothing but their puppet. DeSantis can’t campaign on his own as he doesn’t know or understand the State of Florida. I pray Floridians wake up and come to their senses and vote for Adam Putnam!!

Adam Putnam wasn't competent to run the Ag Dept. Imagine how he bad he would be as Govenor!

Adam Putnam wasn't competent to run the Ag Dept. Imagine how he bad he would be as Govenor!

'Gov. Ron DeSantis', get used to hearing that 'Jerry'. Graham's daddy has been funding her candidacy from the beginning since she has no other support. Floridians have little to no stomach for the obvious nepotism and frankly, Bob Graham is a washed up 'has-been'. Once President Trump shows up in Florida to campaign for DeSantis he'll have a cakewalk, 60-40 red tidal wave.

David, here is a wakeup call. Ron Desantis has been a ringleader of the House committee efforts to derail the Mueller investigation. Although he has been calling for Rod Rosenstein’s impeachment, he evidently did not join other House members in signing the petition. Nevertheless, he as on Fox News last night attaching Rosenstein and the FBI. Rick Scott will not be attending the Trump rally in Tampa on July 31 even though it is Trump’s event to support the campaigns of Desantis and Scott. Paul Ryan, Trey Gowdy and many other Republicans oppose the effort to impeach Rosenstein. And then there is Fox News where Shep Smith and Neil Cavuto were shocked at the performance of President Trump in Helsinki. And Judge Andrew Napolitano said the Cohen tapes struck him as an attorney and his client conspiring to comit fraud. And there is a fraud exception that eliminates attorney-client privilege. Sure they still have Hannity and others mostly or usually defending Trump. And they have Newt Gingrich laughably comparing Trump to Lincoln. And the new Marist poll was out today. In the key midwest states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the President’s approval rating has fallen into the high thirties. And only 30 percent of voters said they favored a second term for Trump. The good ship Trump is taking on a lot of water is starting to list.

Sounds great to me..... DeSantis anti women, healthcare, etc will make him lose as will being associated with Trump whom by then people will be sick of and his enablers, Trump Chumps...…….. Graham will easily beat him as will most of the dem candidates.. ………….. Even the NRA sellout stands little chance after changing from a decent person to an idiot...………. And Nelson just needs to remind voters of everything Scott has done against the people and how he if flip flopped on so many of his past policies.

Good try at spinning, but not likely to happen.

More bs from FAU, will the real Kevin Wagner stand up.

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