Andrew Gillum Archives - Page 6 of 99 - Florida Politics

Lindsay Cross with Martin O’Malley, Chris King on Election Eve

Senate candidate Lindsay Cross was up before the sun Monday prepping for her final day of campaigning before Election Day. She started the day at her St. Petersburg home on the patio for a “coffee chat” with voters.

“If you have already cast your ballot, thank you,” Cross said, coffee mug in hand and cicadas chirping in the background. “If you haven’t yet, what are you waiting for?”

Cross’ Facebook video implored voters to support progressive ideals including gun reform, environmental protection, affordable healthcare and public education reform.

Later, Cross campaigned with Florida’s Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee Chris King and former Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley.

In another video with the two, O’Malley tells Florida voters, “win back your state.”

“All of these elections are so close. We need all of you to get to the polls. As I said earlier today, get a whole bus load,” Cross said, standing between the two men. “Go and rent a van, bring all of your friends and family. Make sure you get to the polls. There is no excuse.”

Cross is running an uphill battle against incumbent Republican Jeff Brandes for the Pinellas Senate District 24 that includes parts of St. Pete.

“What I’ve told people all across the state of Florida, don’t just elect Andrew Gillum and Chris King, but send some great state senators to Tallahassee,” King said. “Lindsay represents that kind of choice for Tampa Bay and over here in St. Pete.”

Cross has a huge funding disadvantage against Brandes. He’s raised more than $1.5 million in his campaign to keep his district red. Cross has raised about $208,000.

Republicans nationwide are typically out-raising their Democratic challengers, but Cross’ disadvantage is even deeper because she entered the race late after former candidate Carrie Pilon bowed out of the race.

Still, Cross isn’t backing down despite being the underdog. She’s been campaigning full-time, seven days a week for weeks and is using social media as a cheap campaigning arm.

Her ads have run on platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Pandora that are less costly than traditional media buys. That strategy also targets younger voters who are more likely to consume media on streaming platforms than on cable television or radio.

Cross ended her video with O’Malley and King saying she was looking forward to popping the champagne Tuesday night at her election night party at the Getaway.  

Brandes and his supporters have fired back at her campaign platform, tying it to progressive all stars like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and, now, Gillum. Those efforts included, direct mail, television ads and a website called “Liberal Lindsay Cross.”

Don Cheadle shreds Ron DeSantis in Jacksonville radio, digital buy

Acclaimed actor Don Cheadle will be heard on Jacksonville radio in the next 24 hours, clowning Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis for various racialist controversies.

The 60-second spot from American Bridge spotlights various lowlights of the Republican campaign, including DeSantis refusing to return donations from someone who called President Barack Obama a “Muslim N—–,” and using the phrase “monkey this up” in reference to what Democrat Andrew Gillum could do to the state economy.

The ad closes with a quote from Gillum: “I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.”

DeSantis has struggled when confronted with these issues.

Regarding “monkey this up,” DeSantis called the furor over the phrase a “nothing burger” on Fox News.

“People are going to demagogue what you say,” DeSantis contended, adding that “the voters know this is a nothingburger … I’m not going to be derailed by these controversies.”

The campaign has devolved, often, into expressions of racist puerility, such as a risible robocall from an out of state group early in the campaign.

Cheadle’s radio spot and digital ad buy comes at a time when Democrats have done better in Duval County than any election in recent memory, carrying a 13,000 ballot edge into Election Day.

Democrats have cast 45.5 percent of votes, Republicans 40.2 percent.

There is a certain irony in Cheadle being deployed this way, as a star of The Avengers movies.

DeSantis has made hay of Gillum accepting a ticket to Hamilton from an FBI agent. In Jacksonvill last week, he said Gillum “had a thousand dollar ticket given to him to go to this play. It’s not like going to see The Avengers on a Saturday afternoon.”

On the last day of the campaign, a star of The Avengers seemed to offer a special receipt for DeSantis, a candidate who despite being just 40 years old, has seen his opponent endorsed by a pantheon of pop culture icons.

Diddy, DJ Khaled, Tiffany Haddish to headline midnight rally for Andrew Gillum

Rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs will host a midnight event at FAMU on Monday evening to promote Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.

The “Bring It Home Midnight Rally” will also include appearances by DJ Khaled, Tiffany Haddish, William Packer and Monica. Working with student leaders, the event will push the significance of turning out the vote this Tuesday.

The concert and rally happen in Tallahassee, where Gillum serves as Mayor.

The Gillum campaign yesterday released video of Combs endorsing the Democrat. “He’s running a campaign for the people,” Combs says in the video.

Combs, founder of Bad Boy Records, played an outsized role in the growth of hip-hop in the 1990s, discovering such talents as The Notorious B.I.G. and Mase. Combs himself performed under a number of stage names including Puff Daddy, P. Diddy and Brother Love.

DJ Khaled’s career ties closely with the Miami hip-hop scene. He began his career as a radio DJ on WEDR 99 Jamz before releasing a series of successful albums and becoming president of Def Jam South and founding We The Best Music.

Khaled supported President Barack Obama’s candidacy, and two years ago spoke at a Miami rally with Obama for Hillary Clinton. He also joined a group of celebrities Obama invited to the White House to discuss criminal justice reform.

Actress/comedienne Haddish held a number of roles in television and film before a 2017 breakthrough in Girls Trip. She stars in the upcoming political comedy The Oath.

Packer, a St. Petersburg native and FAMU alumnus, co-founded Rainforest Films, producing such movies as Trois and Girls Trip.

Monica, an Atlanta native, signed with Arista Records at age 11 and released ‘90s hits including “Before You Walk Out of My Life” and “The Boy Is Mine.”

Doors will open at the Lawson Center at 9:30, with pre-rally programming starting at 10 p.m. Organizers say the event should last until 1 a.m., hours before polls open on Election Day.

GOTV group knocked on 1 million doors during early voting

For Our Future Florida (FOF-FL), a progressive group helping to elect Democrats this election cycle, says it knocked on more than 1 million doors during this year’s early voting period.

The organization says those efforts resulted in more than 200,000 conversations. FOF-FL says its 1,600 staff members and volunteers will continue its turnout operation — get out the vote, or GOTV — ahead of Tuesday’s Election Day.

“Everything we are doing in these final hours is to channel the energy we’ve witnessed over the past two years into getting folks out to vote for Mayor Andrew Gillum and Sen. Bill Nelson,” said Ashley Walker, the group’s state director.

“We’ve seen a huge jump in both volunteers and enthusiasm the closer we get to Election Day. But we know enthusiasm isn’t enough, folks have to cast their ballots.”

New polls released Monday showed good news for Gillum and Nelson in their respective races against Republicans Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott.

FOF-FL has been active throughout the 2018 election cycle. The group says it targeted more than 1.2 million sporadic voters across 20 counties.

Of those targets, more than 500,000 have cast a ballot, according to FOF-FL’s numbers.

Walker says she’s urging anyone who hasn’t done so already to make it to the polls on Tuesday.

“Anyone who cares about expanding access to health care, fully funding public education, and protecting Florida’s clean water needs to make their voice heard by getting out and voting for Senator Nelson, Mayor Gillum, and progressive candidates down the ballot.”

Andrew Gillum, Bill Nelson leading, Q poll shows

Another poll released Monday morning is showing the Democrats leading in Florida’s gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races, this one from Quinnipiac University, which has both Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson up by seven points over their opponents, Republicans Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott.

The Quinnipiac University Poll has Gillum, the Tallahassee Mayor, leading DeSantis, the former congressman, by 50 percent to 43 percent.

The same poll has U.S. Sen. Nelson leading Florida Gov. Scott 51 percent to 44 percent.

The polls came out Monday the same time as a St. Pete Polls survey that has Gillum up by five points, and an NBC News/Marist poll that has Gillum up by five points over DeSantis and Nelson up by five points over Scott.

The trio of new polls shows a consistent trend that has had Gillum leading in nearly every survey for more than a month, according to RealClearPolitics, which tracks major polls.

As with the other two polls, the Democrats are holding their leads thanks to the preferences of independent voters, with Democrats enjoying a 13-point advantage in both races. Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, suggested the preference will be difficult for the Republicans to overcome.

“Sen. Nelson has a 13-point edge among independent voters. Candidates with double-digit leads among independents rarely lose,” Brown stated in a news release.

“Mayor Andrew Gillum and his challenger, former Congressman Ron DeSantis, are running the same, 93 — 4 percent among self-identified members of each of their respective parties. But Gillum’s 13-point margin among independents is the difference in the outcome,” Brown added.

The Q Poll was taken from last Monday through Sunday, of 1,142 Flordia likely voters, and Quinnipiac is citing a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Final St. Pete Polls survey: Andrew Gillum holds 5-point lead heading into Election Day

Democrat Andrew Gillum holds a nearly 5 percentage point lead over Republican Ron DeSantis heading into Election Day, according to the final St. Pete Polls survey conducted for Florida Politics.

The last poll of the 2018 election cycle for the outlet found the Tallahassee Mayor winning almost 50 percent of the vote, while the former congressman pulls in around 45 percent. Another 2 percent of voters support Reform Party candidate Darcy Richardson.

That puts Gillum’s lead outside of the 1.8 percent margin of error for the poll. The poll was conducted over Nov. 3-4 and includes results from a sample of 3,088 voters.

Gillum’s lead looks substantially more decisive among those voters who already cast ballots.

Among those who already cast their ballots, Gillum wins 55 percent of the vote, compared to 42 percent for DeSantis and 1 percent for Richardson.

At the same time, DeSantis holds an even more substantial lead among those who intend to vote but had not done so at the time of the poll. There, DeSantis lead with 53 percent to Gillum’s 37 percent, while Richardson picks up 3 percent of that vote and another 7 percent still undecided.

Gillum takes 79 percent of the Democratic vote, while DeSantis wins 78 percent of Republicans.

But among the critical independent voters, Gillum boasts a lead of 53 percent to DeSantis’ 38 percent. Richardson gets 6 percent of that vote.

DeSantis does hold the lead among white voters, winning 53 percent of that large group while Gillum takes 42 percent. There, 3 percent remain undecided, and 2 percent support Richardson.

Gillum and DeSantis split the Asian/Pacific Islander vote 47-47, with 3 percent backing Richardson and 3 percent still unsure.

But all other racial groups go for Gillum. The Democrat wins 90 percent of the black vote to the Republican’s 6 percent and 48 percent of the Hispanic vote to DeSantis’ 47 percent.

Gillum wins all age demographics under 70, while DeSantis wins that oldest group with 52 percent of the vote.

Men effectively split 47-47 between Gillum and DeSantis, with the Republican having an edge of a couple of tenths of a point in the poll. But 51 percent of women support Gillum, and just 44 percent support DeSantis.

‘Make history this election’: Rihanna backs Andrew Gillum, Amendment 4

Another day brings another celebrity with a global profile backing Democrat Andrew Gillum for Florida Governor.

Sunday’s big get, announced via Instagram: icon Rihanna.

“FLORIDA: You have the opportunity to make history this election. The US has only had four black Governors in its entire history,” Rihanna urged, “and we can help make #AndrewGillum the next one and Florida’s first!”

“If you’re tired of feeling like you don’t matter in the political process, know the most important thing you can do in supporting a candidate is finding someone who will take on critical issues such as: making minimum wage a livable wage, paying teachers what they’re worth, ensuring criminal justice reform, making healthcare a right, and repealing Stand Your Ground,” Rihanna said.

“That’s a platform we MUST support. Let’s #bringithome, Florida. Vote @andrewgillum. And VOTE YES on Amendment 4 to restore voting rights to folks who have already paid their debt to society,” Rihanna added.

Rihanna is the second major pop star to endorse Gillum this weekend. Sean “Diddy” Combs endorsed the Tallahassee Mayor on Saturday.


Bill Nelson, Andrew Gillum each up by 5, NBC News/Marist poll says

The latest poll, from NBC News/Marist, has Democrats Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson both leading by five points in Florida’s gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.

The new poll taken last week and released Monday morning shows Gillum, the Tallahassee Mayor, leading Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis, a former Congressman, 50 percent to 45 percent. Counter to recent polls showing Reform Party nom Darcy Richardson siphoning away a couple points, “other” candidates accounted for less than the 1 percent of the total with most of the remainder being undecided.

The spread is identical as U.S. Sen. Nelson leads Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott in the U.S. Senate race.

As other polls have found, NBC/Marist shows Democrats running up solid leads among Florida’s registered voters who say they have already have voted. Unlike St. Pete Polls’ recent survey of the top-of-ticket races, NBC/Marist also shows Gillum and Nelson with leads, albeit slim ones, among those who say they have not yet voted but intend to vote.

Gillum leads by 22 points among independent voters, 18 points among women, 80 points among black voters, and 12 points among Hispanic voters. DeSantis leads by 15 points among white voters, nine points among men, and by 59 points among white evangelical voters.

The demographic spreads in the U.S. Senate race are similar: Nelson has a 17-point lead among independent voters, and big edges among women, voters of color and younger voters, while Scott leads by 13 points among white voters, nine points among men, and 54 points among white evangelical voters.

The poll was conducted last Tuesday through Friday of 1,038 Florida adults interviewed live by either landline or cell phone, and sorted subsets of voters and likely voters, depending on the questions. For the 595 likely voters, the margin of error was 5 percent.

In the previous NBC News/Marist survey, taken in September, Gillum led 49-41 percent and Nelson led 48-43 percent.

The RealClearPolitics polling average for the Guv. race, which includes the NBC/Marist poll, gives Gillum a 2.7 percentage point lead over DeSantis. The Senate polling average puts Nelson up 2.5 percentage points. Election forecaster FiveThirtyEight gives both Gillum and Nelson a better than 70 percent chance to snag a victory on Election Day, though the vote will be close. In the race for Governor, FiveThirtyEight doesn’t expect the winning candidate to net 51 percent of the vote.

caldwell fried

Nikki Fried holds slim lead in final poll of Ag. Commissioner race

If Election Day were today, Democrat Nikki Fried would eke out a victory over Republican Matt Caldwell in Agriculture Commissioner race.

That’s according to a new survey from St. Pete Polls conducted Thursday. The poll, commissioned by Florida Politics, found Fried leading by just under a percentage point with 6 percent of voters still undecided.

The same survey found Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum with a 2-point edge over former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis as well as a slim lead for current Gov. Rick Scott in his campaign to oust Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

In each of the three measures, the Democratic candidate had a significant edge in the early vote while the GOP nominee led among voters yet to cast their ballot. Those leads came despite Republicans outnumbering Democrats in early ballot returns.

As of Saturday, nearly 4.5 million Floridians had cast their ballots early.

The state Division of Elections tally shows Republicans have cast just over 41 percent of those pre-Election Day votes, while Democrats make up a 40 percent share and third- and no-party candidates account for the remaining 19 percent.

Republicans led by 3 points in pre-Election Day voting four years ago, the most recent midterm election.

Fried’s lead came in at just over 6 points among the 58 percent of respondents who said they’ve already voted. Caldwell was up 7 percentage points among remaining 42 percent of respondents.

That lead also comes despite Caldwell’s significant fundraising advantage. As of Nov. 1, the last day of fundraising for Florida candidates, he had raised $5.73 million via his campaign and political committee, Friends of Matt Caldwell.

Fried has raised less than half of that sum: $971,000 in hard money and $1.29 million in soft via her Florida Consumers First political committee.

St. Pete Polls took responses from 2,733 self-identified likely voters through an automated phone call polling system.

The sample included 40 percent Republicans, 39 percent Democrats, and 21 percent independent voters. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 1.9 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

Joe Henderson: GOP’s midterm election negativity was nonstop

The pundits got it wrong on Florida’s midterm elections.

With Election Day dead ahead, it’s not so much about the choice of Democrat Andrew Gillum’s progressive agenda in the Governor’s race against the conservatism of Republican Ron DeSantis.

Nor, in the U.S. Senate race, are voters deciding Rick Scott’s pro-jobs record against Bill Nelson’s approach to the environment and health care.


At least for the races at the top of the ballot, this has been a campaign of fear and loathing vs. hope and promise.

If you’ve been exposed to campaign pitches from both sides, I don’t have to explain which one has been peddling fear and which one is offering positive change.

Gillum has promised to take on the NRA, push for health care expansion, more money for teachers and schools, and higher corporate taxes to pay for it.

DeSantis warned that Gillum would “monkey up” the state’s economy and immediately was widely criticized for using a racist term.

DeSantis made it worse by saying no, that wasn’t racist. It’s just a common expression (that no one seems to have heard before).

Scott has relentlessly pounded Nelson as a career, do-nothing politician who votes the Democratic Party line with regularity and rarely shows up to work. And a PAC that supports Scott even managed to sneak in a dog whistle about Nelson’s age, which is 76, with this line in a commercial that is getting a lot of airtime: “The poor man seems more and more confused.”

Really? Did they go there?

Yes, they did.

Now, we pause a moment and note that most polls give the edges to Gillum and Nelson – although both Florida midterm elections are expected to be close.

But what if, instead of trying to paint their opponents as the offspring of Darth Vader, DeSantis and Scott had taken a different path? They might not have sent no party-affiliation voters stampeding in large numbers to the blue side of the street.

Most Floridians really don’t know DeSantis, other than his appearances on Fox News that earned him the support of President Trump. He didn’t have much to say about what he would do if elected Governor, although in a long-running ad campaign he was happy to highlight his participation on the Dunedin team that went to the 1991 Little League World Series.


The only thing missing from that was Bruce Springsteen singing “Glory Days” – you know, times slips away and leaves you with nothing, mister, but boring stories of … yeah, that.

Instead of saying how Gillum would destroy the state, DeSantis could have stressed why his plan – assuming he had one – would be best. He didn’t do that nearly enough to cut past the steady lava flow of negativity his campaign was producing.

He also got rattled and snippy during a debate with Gillum about accepting support from a supporter identified with white nationalists.

And Scott, well, I just don’t understand his line of attack.

He didn’t play to his strength as a job creator nearly enough, even though that was what got him elected Governor two times. And his disdain for environmental regulations while in office came back to bite him when Nelson’s campaign seized the opening and tagged him with the recent red tide debacle.

To be sure, Nelson didn’t exactly run an inspired campaign.

The commercial about his 1986 trip as a payload specialist on the Space Shuttle was about as relevant to the current campaign as DeSantis’ youth league baseball exploits, but I believe Nelson is benefitting from the enthusiasm that appears to be surrounding the Gillum campaign.

Gillum seems to have the wind at his back just now, but it’s only a hunch. If it is as tight as some polls project, no one can be really surprised however this turns out.

This much is true, though: DeSantis doesn’t seem to have generated enthusiasm beyond his base in the way Gillum has. Gillum will win if all those who seemed inspired by his story actually vote. We won’t know that until Tuesday.

Here’s what we do know now: While negative ads have been a standard part of political campaigns for decades and will continue to be, I think DeSantis and Scott took it to the next level this year.

If both men lose, it may be the voters’ way of saying: We’ve had enough of that.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons