FAU poll: Andrew Gillum has slim lead over Ron DeSantis

Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis

A new survey from the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) has Andrew Gillum with an inside-the-margin lead in the race to be Florida’s next Governor.

The poll shows Gillum with 41 percent of the vote, with DeSantis at 39 percent. The remaining 15 percent of voters were undecided, leaving some room for growth for each candidate.

“Florida continues to be a sharply divided state,” said Kevin Wagner, professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative. “When races are this close, it is often enthusiasm and turnout that make the difference.”

DeSantis may face an added hurdle if this race comes down to turnout. Recent reports say President Donald Trump is unhappy with DeSantis’ rebuke of the President’s remarks regarding the death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. DeSantis, however, questioned that narrative on Wednesday.

“I don’t think anything has changed. I think we’re good,” he said.

DeSantis’ primary win over Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam was largely seen as a result of Trump’s endorsement of DeSantis.

And Trump’s grip on the Republican Party base means he could have sway over Republican turnout come November. Whether Trump’s anger will linger and lead to a tamping down of support for DeSantis remains to be seen. If there is a gap between DeSantis and “the big man himself,” there’s plenty of time to bridge the divide, and if past is prologue, a Democratic lead in September often results in a Republican win in November.

Still, the lead for Gillum in the FAU BEPI poll matches other surveys which have shown the Democrat ahead. That includes another poll released Wednesday morning from Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics. The latter poll, conducted online, showed Gillum with a 50-44 percent lead, which was outside the poll’s 4 point margin of error.

FAU BEPI’s survey was conducted Sept. 13-16 and sampled 850 likely voters. That margin of error was listed as 3.3 percentage points.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


  • Judy Spangler

    September 19, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    There are already too many in Congress who are willing to rubber stamp Donald Trump’s worse impulses…we need more of those with a spine who will actually stand up to him when he does or says something outrageous or disgusting…especially at times like at Helsinki, when he stood next to our greatest adversary and slammed his own intelligence agencies…choosing to believe a murderous thug like Putin over the brave men & women of the FBI, CIA, DNI,etc. And that all DeSantis would be is another rubber-stamp…another coward.

  • Don't Get Conned

    September 19, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    If felons could vote, Andy would be even further ahead. They’d feel a potential kinship.

  • seber newsome III

    September 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    That is why we need to vote NO on Amendment 4

  • Austin Cassidy

    September 20, 2018 at 2:19 am

    Are the crosstabs available on this poll? I’m confused as 41%-39% with 15% undecided only adds up to 95%.

Comments are closed.


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