If the election were held today Florida voters would send a Democrat to the Governor’s Mansion for the first time in nearly 20 years.
That’s according to a new PPP poll, which found voters preferred former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Congresswoman Gwen Graham, both Democrats, in hypothetical head-to-heads against Republican Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Northeast Florida U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis.
Democratic consultant Christian Ulvert of EDGE Communications, who is a senior adviser to Levine’s campaign, commissioned the poll.
The poll found Levine would win by 4 points against Putnam. That lead inches to 5 points if DeSantis is the GOP candidate on Election Day. More than 20 percent of voters were undecided in each scenario.
If Graham were to win the Democratic nomination, she’d beat DeSantis by four points, with nearly a quarter of voters unsure of their pick. Putnam v. Graham would be a virtual tie, however, at 37-36 with Graham in the lead. That matchup left 27 percent of voters unsure of who they’d pick decision.
The poll didn’t measure how the other two candidates in the Democratic Primary, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando-area businessman Chris King, would fare if they made the general election ballot. The poll also excluded House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who is expected to enter the Republican Primary in the coming weeks.
The positive numbers for Democrats come despite those polled giving President Donald Trump a higher-than-average favorability rating.
Though still underwater in the Sunshine State, 46 percent of voters said they approved of the president while 48 percent disapproved.
Those who said they voted for Trump in 2016 also outnumbered those who said they voted for Hillary Clinton by 3 points, 44-41, with 15 percent saying they voted third party or didn’t vote for president in the last election.
The poll found those Trump voters were more likely to vote for a Democrat than Clinton’s voters were to vote for a Republican.
In the Levine v. DeSantis contest, the South Florida Democrat would take a full 10 percent of Trump voters, while DeSantis would get a 7 percent share of the Clinton crowd. Levine would pull 7 percent of those who voted for The Donald if he was up against Putnam.
In her head-to-head with DeSantis, Graham would get 8 percent of Trump voters, while 7 percent would put their name in her column if she was up against Putnam.
In all four scenarios, the Democratic candidate won those who didn’t vote or cast a third-party ballot by a large margin.
The PPP poll was conducted April 10 and 11 and took responses from 661 Florida voters.
The turnout model used in the survey assumes Democrats will outnumber Republicans at the polls by 1 point. That would be a major shift compared to past midterm elections, which typically see Republicans come out in higher numbers, but is reflective of the expected enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans in the 2018 cycle.