Andrew Gillum releases poll showing him picking up 'informed Democrats'' votes - Florida Politics

Andrew Gillum releases poll showing him picking up ‘informed Democrats” votes

The campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is releasing results of an internal poll Wednesday that shows him tied with Gwen Graham and within striking distance of frontrunner Philip Levine – and leading among Democrats after the pollsters provided pitches for each candidate and asked again.

The poll finds what all others have been saying to date, that a majority of Democrats still don’t know the candidates, most haven’t made up their minds, and more than a few who have decided are waffling on their choices. Yet the campaign for the Tallahassee Mayor Gillum maintains that it also shows that people are beginning to make up their minds, and that he’s well positioned once voters are informed.

“This latest poll shows that with a little more than 100 days until primary day, Mayor Gillum is prepared to jump into the lead,” Geoff Burgan, Gillum’s campaign communications contended in a news release.

“As we continue educating voters about his background as the son of a bus driver and construction worker, and his bold, progressive agenda to invest more than $1 billion in our public schools and students, give teachers and support staff the raise they deserve, and make quality health care a constitutional right for all Floridians, Mayor Gillum is poised to win this wide-open primary,” Burgan added.

The on-line poll was conducted by Change Research of 1,107 likely Democratic primary voters in Florida between May 8-11 last week. Change Research applied its proprietary “Bias Correct” method to yelled a representative sample, according to the Gillum campaign.

The findings of all voters asked whom they would vote for gave Levine, the former Miami Beach mayor, 20 percent; Gillum and Graham, the former congresswoman from Tallahassee, 13 percent each; and Chris King, the Winter Park entrepreneur 3 percent. Fifty-two percent of the likely Democratic voters surveyed said they were undecided.

After receiving brief pitches and photographs of each candidate, provided by the pollsters, a second question on whom the respondents would vote for gave Gillum 35 percent, Graham 23 percent, Levine 20 percent, and King 10 percent, with 13 percent remaining unsure, the Gillum campaign reported.

Favorability ratings questions found that Levine, who’s been airing statewide television commercials since January, is the only candidate of whom a majority of Democratic voters have heard. Levine’s favorable ratings totaled 44 percent, including 16 percent finding him very favorable; while a total of 15 percent of those surveyed gave him unfavorable ratings, including 5 percent who found him very unfavorable. Another 41 percent don’t know him.

Gillum, whose been running digital ads on the internet, had total favorable ratings of 32 percent (with 14 percent very favorable) and total unfavorable ratings of 13 percent (including 4 percent very unfavorable.) Yet 55 percent said they had “never heard of him.”

Graham, who’s also been relying on internet advertising to date, had the the best favorable/unfavorable ratio, with 36 percent saying they hold favorable opinions (14 percent saying very favorable) of her, and only 11 percent having unfavorable (including 3 percent very unfavorable) opinions of her. Fifty-three percent said they never heard of her.

King, who is beginning statewide television commercials this week, came in with 21 percent favorable ratings (including 5 percent very favorable) and 14 percent unfavorable (including 4 percent very unfavorable.) Sixty-five percent of those polled said they never heard of him.

Sixty-two percent of the Democrats surveyed said the state was on the wrong track, with 13 percent saying it was on the right track.

When asked to rate President Donald Trump on a scale of 1-10, 84 percent of the Democratic voters surveyed gave him a “1.” Four percent gave him a “10.”

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.
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