Here’s the first post-primary poll of the race for Florida governor

Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis

Andrew Gillum is breaking ahead of Ron DeSantis in the governor’s race, fueled by the early preference of Florida’s independent voters, according to the first publicly-released poll of the general election campaign season.

A new poll produced by Public Policy Polling gives Gillum, the progressive Tallahassee mayor who rocked the Democratic Party on Tuesday, 48 percent, and DeSantis, the conservative Republican nominee running with President Donald Trump, 43 percent, in the opening days of the Nov. 6 election campaign.

A remarkably low  percentage of voters, just 9 percent, told PPP pollsters that they were unsure, an early indication of how clear the differences already are, and likely will continue to be ,between the two major gubernatorial candidates.

The poll, taken Wednesday and Thursday, shows Gillum starting with a commanding lead among independent voters. Party faithful are lining up pretty equally behind their nominees, and consequently Gillum’s early advantage appears built entirely from independent voters chosing him.

PPP surveyed 743 Florida voters, of which 41 percent were Republicans, 41 percent were Democrats and 18 percent were independent.

The poll was commissioned by EDGE Communications, the politial consulting firm of Christian Ulvert, the former senior consultant for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine, who lost to Gillum Tuesday.

“In the first general election poll since Tuesday’s primary, we see how Florida is very much a swing state. Mayor Gillum starts ahead of Ron DeSantis by 5 points,”  Ulvert stated in a release announcing the poll.

The poll finds Gillum starting out with a fairly warm reception from those surveyed, and DeSantis, not so much.

In favorability ratings, 45 percent of those surveyed said they have a favorable opinion of Gillum, and 27 percent an unfavorable opinion. DeSantis starts the fall campaign with a 41 percent favable rating, but a 47 percent unfavorable rating.

While party voters generally were lining up solidly behind their nominees, DeSantis’s favorability issue extends deeply into independent voters, according to the survey. Just 26 percent found him favorable, and 55 percent found him unfavorable.

Gillum, meanwhile, starts out with a 51 percent favorable rating among independents and only a 14 percent unfavorable rating. Gillum also starts with a large percentage of Republican voters, 37 percent, who say they have no opinion of him yet.

The result of that independent voters favorability gap: 59 percent would vote today for Gillum and just 25 percent for DeSantis, with 16 percent undecided.

“The most interesting number is among Independent voters where Gillum leads DeSantis by 34. … Gillum starts with an impressive edge among Independent voters who are key to winning Florida,” Ulvert stated.

There also is a sharp differences of opinion between men and women, and divided by races.

“In the governor’s race, there is massive gender gap with Gillum leading among women by 21 and DeSantis leading among men by 13,” Ulvert noted.

Gillum has 84 percent of the vote of black voters and 61 percent of Hisapanic voters, while DeSantis hs 54 percent of the white voters.

Scott Powers

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 [email protected]


  • Stephen

    August 30, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    The DeSantis campaign knows it’s still early and there’s plenty of time (two months!) for Gillum to monkey this up.

    • Rafael

      August 30, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      DeSantis likely used poor wording with his monkey remarks. You sir clearly used it as a bigot truly would. Stay classy.

      • Stephen

        August 30, 2018 at 7:43 pm

        While I disagree with your accusation, let’s do our best to keep things pure and light. We don’t want this campaign to bring darkness to the office.

        • Mark

          August 31, 2018 at 6:36 pm

          Apparently one bigoted statement wasn’t enough for you! Got anymore colorfully bigoted statements or is that all you’ve got?

          • rich matthew

            September 2, 2018 at 10:18 am

            how would De Snatis feel if some one came out and said do not WOP THIS UP. The Republicans would be having fits. De Santis should of known that using the work Monkey adresing a black man was very offensive. Hes either dumb or he did it because he wanted to do that in public and get away with it . Either way he should not be Governor. Florida lakes and the enviroument is in very bad shape with this red tide thing and that big lake in Florida with green algee. and De Santis record with enviroment only ranks 2% according to the LVC . We don’t want Fl. to get much worse with De santis record. Washington Post says Gillum has the strongest enviromental record. Right now Trump is fighting to allow oil rigs in the Gulf to be built closer to the Florida beaches They continue even after the worst oil spill in history occured in the Gulf and with the republicans taking bribes much more then Demos the reps will sell out our enviroment where Demos
            kind of leaves it alone on that issue I say most. De Santis would be right in front of line with special intrests selling out our enviroument We can not afford to have De Santis the Governor of Florida

        • LIB

          September 2, 2018 at 11:45 pm

          Why didn’t you say something when Obama used it in one of his speach’s?


        August 31, 2018 at 4:56 pm

        Nice!!! A**hole!!! Not that YOU care but as a (dem. sort-of) but voter of both parties over the years, we have been anxious to move to Fla. fairly soon, visiting homes in the Tampa area (Lutz) frequently in past year. I LOVED FLORIDA:The beautiful oceans, beloved diversity of people and political opinion, and citizens that will strive to enhance the education and cultural features that “attracted” us to your state. WHAT HAPPENED?? We assumed that Floridians would get rid of the well known corrupt politicians (especially Scott, DeSantis and others) as you realized that you would not put up with more pollution of the beautiful waters, decreased educational standards, more expansion of “stand your ground”, and worsening economic opportunities resulting from “government hoarding” funds depriving the “citizens”..Most are not fooled anymore that “no state tax” means Florida is affordable .. The loss is ours, since now we have to decide where to move if Floridians “don’t wake up” and elect candidates that “CARE ABOUT YOU”…On the other hand, maybe this how you all like it!! I am SAD!!!

        • Mike

          September 1, 2018 at 9:06 am

          Do all of us a favor in Florida, and don’t move here. I hear New York is a good place this time of the year.

        • Arthro

          September 1, 2018 at 11:08 pm

          Let me save you the anguish…you should move to California or stay where you are. I think you would be much happier there. By the way, Desantis and Scott are not under FBI investigation for corruption. That would be Gillum.

        • RICH

          September 2, 2018 at 10:22 am

          lets use the word WOP

        • David W

          September 2, 2018 at 7:16 pm

          He said “monkey this up,” not “monkey around” Nice try though. Everyone knows what he meant

    • Vet

      August 30, 2018 at 3:56 pm

      PPP, the worst polling outfit there is. Dems thought they had this…. Sorry libs, turn out the lights.

      • Mike burke

        August 31, 2018 at 10:02 am

        De santis.all mobbed up

      • Pat

        August 31, 2018 at 7:42 pm

        so right – this is the same polling place that said Hillary would win by a landslide – LOL

      • rich matthew

        September 2, 2018 at 10:21 am

        are not adressing to a black man

    • not stephen

      August 30, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      no one cares you racist fuck follow the confederacy in erasing yourself from existence

      • pat

        August 31, 2018 at 7:47 pm

        your hateful rhetoric is worse than saying don’t monkey up florida – idiot

    • Joan Vercruysse

      August 30, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Sick…Tired of the name calling

    • James

      August 31, 2018 at 3:55 pm


    • Bob Slawson

      September 1, 2018 at 9:23 am

      Sarcasm I hope!

  • bobloblaw

    August 30, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Florida has no income tax, just make clear how much Gillum would have to raise taxes

  • Palin Smith

    August 30, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    DeSantis will win by more than 25 points on election day. Competence always beats incompetence and corruption.

  • Mira Dean

    August 30, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I will vote this election for candidates who prioritize citizens over illegal aliens (bet you thought that was a given …not anymore), those who oppose sanctuary cities, amnesty and taxpayer funded in state college tuition discounts for illegals. That means NO Democrats. Gallup poll- 57% of Democrats now view socialism positively, little changed from 2010 survey.

    When you reward illegal immigration with jobs, amnesty, drivers licenses, discounts for college tuition, scholarships encourages MORE illegal entry.. Just debating DACA in congress is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars….. thank the parents.

    Liberal Democrat BILL NELSON and Socialist ANDREW GILLUM are running for Senate & Governor respectively. Nelson / Gillum both proudly supports abolishing ICE, sanctuary cities, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, using taxpayer funds for illegal aliens & DACA. In addition, both are weak on border security and national defense.

    If you OPPOSE illegal immigration, taxpayer funds used for illegal aliens, sanctuary cities, amnesty r Please VOTE NO for BILL NELSON & ANDREW GILLUM this November….we can’t afford anymore Democrats.

    Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children and grand children as has been passed on to us

    *The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the billions spent on bilingual education for illegal aliens.

    *Taxpayer are currently funding college tuition & expenses discounts for illegal aliens. Cost to taxpayers over a billion dollars annually.

    *Currently numerous Democrat city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer dollars for legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal aliens being deported and to sue our own Government..

    *2016 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

    *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At $21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison U do the math.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

    *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) WIC, & free school lunches.

    • LAH

      August 31, 2018 at 9:15 am

      You do realize that illegals cannot collect government assistance if they do not have a social security number, right? Maybe the children who are born here (and hence, they ARE citizens) are eligible. Also, we don’t even spend close to $122,000 to educate a student who is not an illegal. All you have to do to find this info is to see how much the per student funding is every year to school districts. It is far less than $10k per year. Also, it is fair to remember that any “illegals” on a company payroll is paying taxes that they do not get to get back nor collect benefits from when they retire (i.e. social security, unemployment, Medicare, FICA). The funds in these entitlement programs would drop dramatically if we deported all “illegals” and result in a cut to benefits paid to US citizens, not to mention how much food would rot in US crops because Americans are “too good” to work those heavy labor jobs to stock our food supply. Maybe you should think about what illegals do for our economy and educate yourself on what they do and do not take from it. Then you might have an ounce more compassion about allowing immigrants a path to citizenship or amnesty that doesn’t take 20 years….kind of like what your ancestors probably experienced when they came to this great country.

    • karen_s_c

      August 31, 2018 at 6:26 pm

      Wow, Mira Dean, you really are an ignorant bigot, aren’t you?

    • greg johnson

      September 1, 2018 at 11:22 pm

      funny, children should go to school, is that a controversial issue?


    August 30, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Rick the Lizard will stop at nothing, including facilitating electronic vote flipping by Putin’s hackers if he needs to.

    • Mira Dean

      September 1, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      WOW Kasren you are a clueless Democrat…….can’t refute anything posted?

  • Michele Ryan

    August 30, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Liberal Democrat BILL NELSON and Socialist ANDREW GILLUM are running for Senate & Governor respectively. Nelson / Gillum both proudly supports abolishing ICE, sanctuary cities, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, using taxpayer funds for illegal aliens & DACA. In addition, both are weak on border security and national defense.

    If you OPPOSE illegal immigration, taxpayer funds used for illegal aliens, sanctuary cities, amnesty r Please VOTE NO for BILL NELSON & ANDREW GILLUM this November….we can’t afford anymore Democrats.

    • Rose Fitzpatrick

      August 30, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      You have got to be kidding. Dems haven’t ruled here as Governor in 20 years. No, the mess you are observing now, and it’s not illegal immigration, in Florida are courtesy of Republican policies. We can’t NOT afford to elect Democrats – for the sake of our children, our environment,.

      • pat

        August 31, 2018 at 7:45 pm

        like a TRillion dollar economy – 3.9 unemployment – we don’t need Florida to go Socialist like California – GOD FORBID…….

        • C. Wood

          September 2, 2018 at 9:16 am

          You mean TRILLION dollar DEFICIT? Tax cuts that help companies buy back stock (which increases the stock value for the 1% who own the majority of the stock) while very little is helping middle class or the poor?

          Unemployment had STEADILY and HEALTHILY been dropping under Obama. Now we are starting to see inflation that will outpace wage gains. We are seeing rising interest rates which is preventing people from paying off debt or buying a house.

  • Art Trabs

    August 30, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    The immigration crisis is not real (Here’s a link to that definitely NOT liberal publication, Forbes: It’s a distraction. People desperately convulsing over immigration are being duped to focus on a nonissue so they won’t pay attention to real social, economic, and environmental issues. Hand-wringing over immigration is meant to keep you scared while you’re getting robbed by 1 %ers. Why do people believe myths about immigration, but ignore science and data? DeSantis and Scott have their hands in your pockets. And being endorsed by Bernie Sanders does not make someone a socialist.

  • Andy Nilssen

    August 30, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    HEY Mira and Michelle,

    Spare us your party line crap. We have brains. Thx.

  • Viet Vette

    August 30, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    I think if DeSantis supported legalizing cannabis he would be a shoe in.

  • Cheryl Chapleau

    August 31, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Taxes will go sky high here in Florida if a socialist is elected. Let’s not make this another blue state that pays $20,000 a year in just property taxes like New York.

  • Dwayne Gordon

    September 4, 2018 at 11:01 am

    People dont care about red tide except hippies people care about economy unemployment and keeping our country on the right track our economy is the best its been and taxes are low and thats thanks to republicans and nust like the primary showed republicans turned out way more than demacraps and thats how florida been for 20 years and will stay that way yes the money was bad to say he didn’t mean it that way it will be made up and forgotten gillium only has a 5 point lead thats because these polls dont dk the entire state if it did it would look like the primary at 55.7% desantis 32.3% demacraps so we will gk into the general election with those numbers we will have a republican govenor for the 21st year a nd a losing demacrap because theem and the unpopular reputation and what one radical demacrap says sticks to them all yes marijuana is popular but not as popular as gun rights keeping the economy continuing to boom and unemployment low and job wanted signs

Comments are closed.


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