TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (September 12, 2018) – In our first statewide poll since the primary election, the race to become Florida’s next Governor is starting off as a close one. In the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s most recent statewide poll, Andrew Gillum (D-Tallahassee) leads Ron DeSantis (R-Palm Coast) by four percent. The Florida Chamber poll which interviewed 514 likely voters, was conducted September 6-9 —immediately after Lieutenant Governors were chosen— and has a margin of error of +/-4.4 percent.
Looking more closely, Gillum is leading DeSantis 47 percent to 43 percent, with two percent favoring someone else and eight percent still undecided. Additionally, Gillum leads in all major media markets except Jacksonville.
“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,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of Political Strategy, Florida Chamber of Commerce. “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.”
Despite Democrats having an advantage in voter registration in a state led by Republicans, 48 percent of likely voters believe Florida is headed in the right direction, compared to 37 percent that believe otherwise. The right/wrong direction by media market shows:
DeSantis Received Nearly Twice as Many Primary Votes as Gillum:
During the primary election, Ron DeSantis received 916,298 votes, nearly twice as many votes as Andrew Gillum (522,164), and he received almost as many total votes as candidates Gwen Graham and Andrew Gillum combined, totaling to 997,039 votes.
ABOUT THIS POLL: 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.