Bernie Sanders effect? Andrew Gillum touts poll showing him now tops - Florida Politics

Bernie Sanders effect? Andrew Gillum touts poll showing him now tops

Andrew Gillum‘s fortunes clearly are rising, as shown by a couple of recent polls showing him surging into a solid third-place standing.

Now his campaign is touting the kicker: a new internal poll that has him strongly leading the Democratic field heading into next week’s gubernatorial primaries.

The poll from Change Research of San Francisco, released late Tuesday by Gillum’s campaign, has campaign communication director Geoff Burgan predicting the Tallahassee mayor and his campaign are about to shock the political establishment and the world.

The poll, taken Saturday and Sunday right after Gillum rallied in Tampa and Orlando with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, shows Gillum with 33 percent; former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham tied with 23 percent, each; and Palm Beach businessman Jeff Greene fourth with 10 percent.

The poll is consistent with others showing Gillum rising, but looks like a clear outlier; all other public surveys have him third.

A new poll from the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative released Tuesday showed Gillum as a distant third behind Graham and Levine. One from StPetePolls.org also released Tuesday showed Gillum a solid third, not far behind, again with Graham leading, and Levine in second.

The Change Research poll of 1,178 likely Democratic primary voters was taken Saturday and Sunday.

“The Andrew Gillum for governor campaign is one week away from shocking the political establishment and the world,” Burgan said in a news release.

For months Gillum’s campaign has maintained its low-budget grassroots effort would lead to a surprise surge, which sounded all along like wishful thinking against the tens of millions of dollars spent by the campaigns of Graham, Levine, and Greene.

“This poll validates our theory that once voters hear about Mayor Gillum’s progressive platform, strong track record, and inspiring personal story, they’ll be excited to vote for him,” he continued. “While our opponents have been slinging mud at each other for weeks, we’ve run a positive race and with our campaign up on TV, we’re one week away from making history.”

Change Research declared that Gillum’s rise is dramatic since the firm last polled for him in May. The firm cited Sanders’ endorsement, appearances last week, and overall popularity with Democrats in giving Gillum a jump.

“This represents a significant improvement for Gillum from Change Research’s previous poll in May, in which he was at 13 percent, trailing Graham and Levine,” Change Research reported in a summary sheet for the poll. “The May polling showed that those who knew of Andrew Gillum liked him (32 percent favorable to 14 percent unfavorable), and his standing has only improved as voters have learned more about him. He has certainly done well introducing himself to Florida Democrats these past three months, as 76 percent of Democratic primary voters now have an opinion of him, with 63 percent viewing him favorably.”

The poll also found that 80 percent of Florida Democrats view Sanders favorably.

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.

7 Comments

    1. Republican light is only going keep us at status quo, not forward moving. You have a commie president. Wake up.

      1. As opposed to the Democrat plan of going backward yet telling everyone we’re “forward moving”?

    2. Being more of a Republican than a Democrat Gwen Graham should have run as a Republican. She might have had better odds.

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